Blackwater’s Anzac Day service in 2017.
Blackwater’s Anzac Day service in 2017.

CQ mining town cancels Anzac Day march over ‘red tape’

A Central Queensland mining town has called off its Anzac Day march this year because of "too much paperwork and red tape" - with other areas expected to follow suit.

But a state government spokesman has said all Anzac Day services could proceed as normal pre-COVID.

Blackwater/Bluff RSL Sub branch president Lester Anderson said the march in Blackwater and Bluff was cancelled, but the dawn services would go ahead as usual at 4.25am for Blackwater and 5.30am for Bluff.

There will be another 9am service for Blackwater.

Mr Anderson said the decision was made because the branch was informed it would have four pages of instructions to comply with if the march went ahead.

"(It's) too much paperwork (and) red tape," he said,

"Everyone involved would have to be signed in on the COVID (form).

"It's a bit of a shame, we usually have the light horse upfront and it's a good spectacle for the kids."

Blackwater was the town at the centre of a bungled false positive COVID-19 case following the death of miner Nathan Turner in late May 2020.

In a statement, a state government spokesman said all Anzac Day services could proceed as normal pre-COVID.

"Indoor venues are subject to COVID check in but dawn services and marches can proceed as they did prior to COVID.

"The CHO says the key is the ability to contact trace should it be needed. If we need people at the Blackwater dawn service to come forward she is sure they will.

"The only proviso is that aged marchers be kept separate from crowds."

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Mr Anderson said while the town would try to organise alternative arrangements to replace the march, he noted other communities had cancelled their Anzac Day plans altogether.

He also said the State Government's rules and requirements for the marches this year were too difficult for small communities to follow.

"All we need is another outbreak and she's all over," Mr Anderson said.

"Being that we are unsure of what's going to happen over the next few weeks, we'll keep our fingers crossed we can have services.

"(These measures) are keeping us all safe. We could be like other countries and have blowouts of COVID, it's not the end of the world if we hunker down and do the right thing.

"I think the government is doing a great job."

In February, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk revealed public commemoration events for Anzac Day would proceed as normal in 2021.

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