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Scott Morrison calls for protesters to be charged if there are rallies this weekend

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called for protesters to be charged for breaking coronavirus gathering rules if they turn out to rallies again this weekend.

Mr Morrison told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell there is “no doubt” the federal government would be looking at easing COVID-19 restrictions sooner if it weren’t for last weekend’s Black Lives Matter protests.

“Let’s put a dollar figure on it. The OECD has come out and said that a second wave would see Australia’s GDP fall by 6.3 per cent, not 5 per cent. That’s a $25 billion cost to the Australian economy,” he said.

The Prime Minister called for charges if further protests go ahead.

“I really do think they should (be charged),” he said.

“The issues of last weekend were very difficult, but I think people carrying it on now, it’s not about that. It’s about political people pushing a whole lot of other barrows now, and it puts others lives and livelihoods at risk.

Mr Morrison lashed out at protesters for behaving selfishly.

“Millions of quiet Australians … have done the right thing and they didn’t seem to be that concerned about their health, or their businesses, or their jobs,” he said.

“People who would turn up to a rally this weekend wold be showing great disrespect to their neighbours.

“It’s a free country and we have our liberties but the price of that liberty is exercising it responsibly.”

Press PLAY below for the full interview.

Latest COVID-19 numbers: Black Lives Matter protester among new cases in Victoria


Image: Rohan Thomson / Getty