John Vandenberg is annoyed by Hillsong and religious song and dance loophole | Central Western Daily

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John Vandenberg thinks it’s “ridiculous” that people are allowed to sing in church but not pubs, in a move the government has taken to try to curb the state’s spread of COVID. The owner of the Blind Pig was even more outraged when news came to light that NSW police ruled out organizers of a Hillsong church youth camp where crowds were being filmed “involving both the spirit and intent” of COVID-19’s public health regulations. -19 ignored. “It would be like saying you can sing in a pub but not church, people would bring up religious discrimination,” he said. “This is discrimination against people’s right to let loose at the weekend.” Singing and dancing will be banned in hospitality venues, entertainment venues, nightclubs and major recreational facilities from January 8, although the order does not apply to religious services, including weddings. In a statement, Hillsong said the summer camp event “doesn’t resemble a music festival in any way” and that “a video circulating on social media (on Thursday) reflects a few minutes of this part of the program.” Mr Vandenberg said in the week after the new restrictions came into effect, his company’s sales fell 65 percent. “I can guarantee this is not singing and dancing, as the (government’s) main attack on trying to control COVID will be of no avail,” he added. “The restrictions have been in place for over a week now and the case numbers have dropped? No, they haven’t.” On the day the new restrictions went into effect, the state registered 45,098 COVID cases, up from 38,625 and 34,994 the two days before. For the four days after Jan. 8, the state’s average daily numbers were 27,746, although that number has since risen due to rapid antigen testing now being included in the numbers. But it is not only religious groups where Vandenberg sees a double standard. “We’re all jumping around, yelling and angry about it, but we don’t have the support like big sports with gambling and advertising,” he said. “Look at the cricket, that really pissed me off when I looked at the cricket. I love it, but when I see 30,000 people sitting there screaming and singing and the Barmy army singing, but nothing was done about it. ” Mr Vandenberg added that venues like his were already struggling with potential customers canceling bookings left, right and center due to the ongoing COVID outbreak. “The place is about absolute inclusiveness and now we can’t do it,” he said. Our journalists work hard to provide local, current news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:


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