WA Premier defends Health Minister and urges Black Lives Matter protest to be cancelled

Jun 11, 2020
By Nathan Hondros

Premier Mark McGowan is urging anti-racism protesters to cancel a rally planned in Perth on the weekend and wait until the coronavirus pandemic is over.

His comments came after a protester who attended a Black Lives Matter rally in Melbourne tested positive to COVID-19 and warnings from Prime Minister Scott Morrison the protest group was putting at risk the nation's recovery.

WA Premier Mark McGowan is urging Black Lives Matter protesters to delay their rally.

WA Premier Mark McGowan is urging Black Lives Matter protesters to delay their rally.CREDIT:LAUREN PILAT

Mr McGowan also defended Health Minister Roger Cook's wife Carly Lane who released a statement on Wednesday indicating she would attend the Perth rally despite restrictions preventing more than 300 people at outdoor gatherings.

"Roger's wife Carly is her own person. I'm not allowing family members to be used in this way," the Premier said.

He said people felt "deep passion" about the protest.

"In the case of Roger Cook, he's had a long history of being supportive of Indigenous people in Australia and indeed he's worked in the field prior to his election to Parliament," he said.

The health minister said his wife would be representing his household at the rally in an interview with Seven West Media on Wednesday.

But Mr McGowan urged protest organisers to "please use some common sense here".

"The state government does not encourage people across the community to attend the rally," he said.

"They don't have a permit for the rally. We're requesting organisers to postpone the rally until the pandemic is over."

Mr Morrison told 2GB's Ben Fordham protests on the weekend risked "putting a massive spanner in the works" of the country's recovery from the coronavirus.

"The timing have been put back by these rallies," he said.

The Prime Minister said he sympathised with the cause but the public health risk of further COVID-19 infections could harm recovery efforts.

"By doing this, they have put the whole track back to recovery at risk. Any further action on this front would be absolutely unacceptable," he said.

The Prime Minister said he hoped funeral attendances could be expanded and Australians would be able to return to places of worship as soon as possible.

"These protests, they start on a fair point ... now it's been taken over by other much more politically driven left-wing agendas, which are seeking to take advantage of these opportunities to push their political causes," Mr Morrison said.

Premier Mark McGowan hosts a workshop with the State Recovery Advisory Group to assist with development of the COVID-19 State Recovery Plan.

The post about “WA Premier defends Health Minister and urges Black Lives Matter protest to be cancelled" first appeared on the WA Today website.

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