Employment Minister Stuart Robert has criticised Victorian protesters for disrespecting soldiers who fought for the nation’s freedoms, telling demonstrators occupying the Shrine of Remembrance to “get vaccinated” and “go home”.

Construction workers are engaged in a tense stand-off with law enforcement as rallies against mandatory vaccinations continued for a third consecutive day.

Minister Robert said he was saddened by the scene coming out of Victoria.

“I’m looking with dismay and some degree of sadness about what’s happening in Victoria: we aren’t going to get through this with demonstrations, we’re going to get through this with vaccinations,” he told Sky News Australia.

“It’s really important that we respect the Shrine of Remembrance and remember those who have come before have done for us in the name of freedom and we remember the freedom we’re going to provide for our community by getting vaccinated, and that’s the message, not demonstrating.

“Demonstrators: get vaccinated, go home and then come and travel to Queensland. Take a break – heaven knows you need it after a long time being locked down.

“This is not who we are, we are better than this; those demonstrating know we’re better than this. Let’s get vaccinated, let’s go home, let’s get through this together.”

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