Police assess images of maskless Coalition MPs in State Parliament

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Police are assessing images of Coalition MPs – including Opposition Leader Matthew Guy and Nationals leader Peter Walsh – in which they appear to flout COVID rules requiring masks in State Parliament at all times except when eating, drinking or speaking publicly.

Liberal and Nationals MPs on Tuesday posted photos on social media showing Essendon legend Kevin Sheedy delivering a motivational speech to the Coalition party room.

Kevin Sheedy and Matthew Guy in one of the photos posted on Facebook.

None of the MPs pictured were wearing masks, appearing to breach a “continuing requirement for masks to be worn” in Parliament.

“Victoria Police is currently assessing images circulating on social media of MPs without a mask on in Parliament on February 8,” a police spokeswoman said. “As the incident is being reviewed by investigators, we will not be providing further comment at this stage.”

In one post, Mr Guy declared that the seven-time premiership player and coach had “kicked off our own 2022 premiership campaign”, while deputy Liberal leader David Southwick said: “Sheeds knows how to win.”

Opposition equality spokesman James Newbury posted a photo showing Mr Walsh, Mr Guy and Liberal MP Gary Blackwood sitting listening to Sheedy “talk about shaking things up and the future of Victoria”.

MPs listen to football legend Sheedy talking about “shaking things up and the future of Victoria”.

In October last year, Premier Daniel Andrews was slapped with two fines worth a total of $400 for failing to wear a mask in public. Mr Andrews apologised for not wearing the mask twice while walking across a car park at Parliament to talk to reporters.

“I expect Victoria Police to assess this and if they choose to issue a fine, of course I will pay it,” Mr Andrews said at the time.

“If they do not issue a fine, I will donate the same value to a charity working to support people in this pandemic because while this was an oversight, oversights matter. Everyone needs to follow the rules and I am sorry it occurred.”

At the time, Mr Guy said Mr Andrews should be fined if he did not have a legitimate excuse for not wearing a mask.

“Under the Chief Health Officer’s rules, that is an offence,” he said. “I hope the Premier, like every other Victorian who is caught without a mask, faces the full force of the law.”

Deputy Premier James Merlino told Parliament that Victorian children showed more maturity about wearing masks in schools than opposition MPs did about doing so in Parliament.

A spokesperson for Mr Guy said given police are assessing the images, “we won’t be providing comment”.

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