John Farnham slams use of 'You're the Voice' at Melbourne lockdown protests

A small group of anti-lockdown protesters held a demonstration in a Melbourne shopping Centre on Sunday.

John Farnham performs during the Fire Fight Australia bushfire relief concert at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Sunday, February 16, 2020. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett) NO ARCHIVING

John Farnham performs at a Bushfire relief concert in February. Source: AAP

The manager of Australian singer John Farnham has lashed out at anti-lockdown protesters who sung ‘You’re the voice’ at a rally on Sunday.

More than a dozen people briefly gathered at Chadstone Shopping Centre in Melbourne to rail against Melbourne’s stringent stage four lockdown.

The protesters, some of whom were not wearing masks, sung the rock anthem in unison before being dispersed by police.

Mr Farnham’s manager Glenn Wheatley slammed the actions of protesters, saying the song was being used against the wishes of Mr Farnham.

“I’m personally concerned people will hear the song and think John Farnham is personally endorsing these protests, and in this case it’s not right," Mr Wheatley told The Age.

"It’s something that John and I do not condone, the use of that song, particularly in a time in Melbourne where we are in stage four lockdown."

"Really, the last thing we should be doing is protesting, no one should be hitting the streets en masse, endangering people’s lives and livelihoods."


The manager also criticised the use of the song at far-right demonstrations.

“It was not meant to be a protest song, it was meant to be used as an inspirational song for nations and for people, not in a situation of what was an illegal protest,” he said.

SBS News has contacted Mr Wheatley for comment.

Two protesters were arrested by Victoria police on Sunday, with another six issued infringement notices.

On Saturday, sixteen arrests were and 21 fines issued after up to 100 people protested in the beachside suburb of Elwood.

On Monday, Victoria recorded just 11 new coronavirus cases, the state's lowest tally since 16 June.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the continued decline in infections is proof the lockdown strategy is successful in curbing the virus spread.

Metropolitan Melbourne residents are subject to Stage 4 restrictions and must comply with a curfew between the hours of 9pm and 5am.

During the curfew, people in Melbourne can only leave their house for work, and essential health, care or safety reasons.

Between 5am and 9pm, people in Melbourne can leave the home for exercise, to shop for necessary goods and services, for work, for health care, or to care for a sick or elderly relative. The full list of restrictions can be found here.

All Victorians must wear a face covering when they leave home, no matter where they live. 

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

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Published 21 September 2020 at 9:37am
By Naveen Razik