Daniel Andrews has issued a stern warning to Victorians not to attend any upcoming anti-Australia Day rallies.
Thousands are expected to gather at the steps of Parliament House in Melbourne for an “Invasion Day” protest on January 26.
But the Premier warned “now is not the time to protest”.
“We‘ve built something precious and unique … Victorians have through their sacrifice and their commitment and their compassion for each other,” he told reporters on Thursday morning.
“We have to safeguard that. And the best way to do that is to follow the rules and to be absolutely vigilant. That’s the most important thing.”
While rally organisers are encouraging COVID-safe measures, nearly 5000 people have expressed their interest in swarming the top end of Spring Street at about 10.30am next Tuesday.
“We invite you to stand with us to abolish Australia Day. Today is a day of mourning for our people and marks a day of resistance against the British invasion,” rally organisers posted.
They also mentioned COVID marshals would be in attendance.
It comes after Victoria recorded its 15th straight day without any new locally acquired coronavirus cases.
There was one new infection in an international arrival.
Mr Andrews could not confirm if that person was associated with the upcoming Australian Open tennis tournament.