March 16, 2020
RSL Queensland advised its Sub-Branches on Monday afternoon to cancel Anzac Day commemorations in light of the emerging COVID-19 public health emergency.
RSL Queensland president Tony Ferris said the advice followed on from the Federal Government’s announcement on Friday that public gatherings of more than 500 people should be suspended.
“Our older veterans are particularly at risk from this virus, so we believe this is the responsible thing to do to ensure their health and wellbeing,” Mr Ferris said.
He said RSL Queensland was considering options for commemorating the anniversary without placing veterans and the general public at risk.
“Regardless of the form this year’s Anzac Day commemorations take, we will always remember the dedication, commitment and sacrifice of our defence forces, past and present,” Mr Ferris said.
Opposition Leader and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington acknowledged the “extraordinarily difficult decision” made by RSL Queensland.
“Community safety must always come first with decisions based on best possible scientific and health advice,” she said.
“Queenslanders will always remember the sacrifice, dedication and bravery of all those who have served.
“The way we commemorate Anzac Day may change this year, but the enduring spirit of the Anzacs will forever be honoured by Queenslanders.”