Steve Price: The Project host erupts at ‘weasel’ Premier after sickening scenes are allowed to play out in iconic country town as cops stand by and do nothing

Steve Price has taken aim at Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan, accusing her of using ‘weasel words’ to duck responsibility for allowing masked neo-Nazis to brazenly march down the main street of a town.

The Project host also slammed at Victoria Police for watching on and even escorting the menacing group of 30 black-clad men who waved racist banners and chanted offensive slogans in Ballarat, 115km north west of Melbourne, on Sunday. 

His furious remarks on Tuesday night’s episode came after footage of the rally was shown along with Ms Allan’s reaction.

Although Ms Allan said ‘what we saw in Ballarat was really disgraceful behaviour’, she defended the lack of police action to stop the march.

‘We also do live in a society where freedom of association, the right to peacefully come together to rally for a cause that’s something that is important to our functioning as a society and that is why it is important to maintain the balance,’ she said.

Price erupted at the notion.

‘I reckon they were very poor weasel words there from the premier Jacinta Allan,’ Price said.

‘She should have got her police minister to tell the police commissioner of Victoria that you can’t allow people to walk down the street completely covered in a mask.

‘Police should have stopped those blokes on that street in Ballarat, demanded that they demask or they would have been arrested.’

Fellow The Project host Hamish Macdonald asked what laws Price would change to stop such a demonstration.

Price pointed out that anti-bikie laws, which are in place in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia to varying levels, ban people associating together while wearing bikie gang colours. 

‘This is worse than that,’ Price said of the neo-Nazi march. 

‘These people are despicable. And the police have to be a police force, they are weak.

‘We had those same Victorian police force firing rubber bullets at anti-vaxxer protests and using riot shields. So why do they allow these blokes to get away with this?’

During Victoria’s draconian Covid lockdowns in September 2021, police fired rubber bullets at protesters who had gathered at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance.

Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan is coming under fire for the lenience police appeared to show to neo-Nazi marchers

Price said laws introduced earlier this year in Victoria that make it a criminal offence to give the Nazi salute, display a swastika or say ‘Heil Hitler’ were ‘clearly not working’.

The marchers, who at one stage took snaps of themselves outside the Ballarat police station, used the legally safe chant of ‘Heil victory’.

As they walked down Ballarat’s central Sturt St behind a banner that said ‘Australia for the white man’ they also chanted: ‘The rest can go’. 

The group sang Rule Britannia as they marched and were seen taking photos at Ballarat’s Eureka memorial. 

As the scene played out police providing an escort and managed traffic. 

Price was not the only critic of the government and police displaying an apparent lenient attitude to the march.

A neo-Nazi group has brazenly marched through the centre of the Victorian city of Ballarat

A neo-Nazi group has brazenly marched through the centre of the Victorian city of Ballarat

Anit-Defamation Commission Chair Dvir Abramovich said such a demonstration of hatred without ‘legal consequence’ created anguish in the Jewish community.

‘What you ignore you empower,’ he said.

‘These neo-Nazis are being emboldened and are being empowered by this inaction. 

‘A democracy is not just about the rights that we have but it’s what we are willing to tolerate. 

‘What does it say about a state that is willing to tolerate modern day Nazis?’ 

Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt blamed soft laws for tying the hands of officers.

‘Only crooks wear balaclavas down the streets of major cities,’ he said. 

‘If it was up to us it would deadest illegal, you wouldn’t be able to do it but it’s not.

‘It’s up to Governments and it’s on them to determine if they want this happening.’ 

Victoria Police have been contacted for comment.