RSL leaders have welcomed the Premier’s announcement that traditional Anzac Day commemorations can resume and say they are confident the majority of residents will turn out.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced Tuesday that dawn services, marches and other commemorations can go ahead on Sunday, April 25.
RSL Sunshine Coast and Regional District President, Ian Hall, said it was tremendous we normal services could be conducted in relation to Anzac Day.
“This is great news. Veterans can commemorate (with crowds) and so can the community,” Mr Hall said.
“We will still have the Light Up The Dawn driveway service for those who don’t want to participate in dawn services or morning ceremonies,” he said.
“We expect the majority of RSL sub branches to conduct their normal activities.
“This is going to be very important as it means veterans can come together after the services and have social interactions … they can talk to their mates about their experiences.
“I think the majority of people will again be involved.”
The Premier gave credit for the decision to Queensland’s success in stopping the spread of COVID-19.
“Every single Queenslander responded to the call to stop the spread of the virus,” the Premier said.
“That has allowed us to ease our restrictions further and faster throughout the pandemic.
“It means we can gather in our streets and at cenotaphs to mark the sacrifices of previous generations, serving men and women and their families.
“This freedom should be commemorated and never forgotten.
“I discussed Anzac Day with Dr Young and she is fully supportive of allowing crowds back to mark this special day.”
Outdoor events, including dawn services, will proceed without the need for check-in procedures.
Indoor events, such as at RSL Clubs, will require normal sign-ins.
The Premier said Dr Young was confident, should contact tracing be required, those attending services would step forward.
RSL Queensland State President Tony Ferris applauded the decision.
“The RSL is overjoyed,” he said.
“The communities and our veterans will be able to step out with their comrades so a great day for Queensland.”
The Premier said the return of other Anzac services allowed the community to pay further respect to servicemen, service women and their families.
“Marches and dawn services allow servicemen and women and their families the opportunity to gather together,” the Premier said.
“It also allows us in the general community to show our respect and thanks.
“I am pleased this special day can return as it was.
“Lest we forget.”