Sunrise's Nat Barr blasts Melbourne protesters: 'Why aren’t they home?'

Sunrise host Natalie Barr has slammed Melbourne protestors who stormed the streets to protest against mandatory vaccinations and the restrictions placed on the construction industry.

In an interview with CFMEU boss John Setka, Natalie Barr questioned why members of the union weren’t at home, instead of out causing havoc on the streets.

Natalie Barr and CFMEU boss on Sunrise
Natalie Barr has blasted Melbourne protesers. Photo: Sunrise

“You can’t reason with some of these people. I actually primarily went out there to address some of our members that were there but I mean I just got drowned out by some of these other morons who, I don’t even know who they are, they’re not from our industry some of them and they’re not construction workers.,” John Setka said.

Natalie Barr responded, asking: “So they’re not all thugs and people causing trouble are they? Because as you said, a lot of your members are there? Why aren’t they home?”

John Setka continued: “A lot of our members, some of them are anti-vaxxers and look, there is some of our members there, thankfully there’s not that many there. But thanks to these people, our industry is now shut for a minimum of two weeks and we have been fighting so hard to keep everyone working.


“Unlike other industries where people have not worked since April last year, we have done everything in our power, worked together with governments, health department, employer organisations to keep this industry going and to just see what happened on Monday is just pretty disappointing.”

Nat continued later on in the interview, asking him if their stance is “too rubbery, because look where you’ve ended up.”

“Should you have gone down the route of NSW and said ‘you do not enter that site unless you are vaccinated or you have a medical exemption’.”

She went on to say they “could have pushed for that, instead of saying ‘oh well we respect everyone’s opinion’. You could have said ‘look, this is the way out of this pandemic’.”

It comes after The Project's Waleed Aly slammed the violent protests that erupted on the streets of Melbourne in the last few days, with thousands of angry protesters clashing with police, damaging property and assaulting reporters.

The Project's Waleed Aly
The Project's Waleed Aly also spoke out about the protesters. Photo: The Project

While union bosses have claimed most people taking part in the protests were "fake tradies" and "far-right extremists and conspiracy theorists" who are opposing mandatory Covid vaccinations on worksites, however, Waleed wasn't having any of it on Tuesday night.

Speaking with Australian Council of Trade Unions Secretary Sally McManus, Waleed questioned whether there was a deeper problem with the construction industry given the fact they have been largely allowed to operate during lockdowns while many others were forced to close without violent protests.

"The whole attitude seems weird," he said. "You have this protest that emerges out of nowhere because tea rooms are being shut down, which doesn't seem to acknowledge that there is a huge amount of privilege that the construction industry has enjoyed just by being allowed to stay open."

Ms McManus shared that union leaders are "worried" about the issue of anti-vax conspiracy theories, suggesting 10 per cent of the workforce are hesitant about the vaccine.

"There's been an active targeting of unions (by conspiracy theory groups) and what that has done is increased the number of people who are hesitant about the vaccine," she said. "We have been really focused on those people. We do not want them caught up with the anti-vaxxers and as a result leaving themselves exposed to this deadly virus."

In Victoria, 403 active Covid cases are linked to 186 construction sites, with officials worried the industry isn't taking the virus seriously.

With extra reporting by Marni Dixit

Never miss a thing. Sign up to Yahoo Lifestyle’s daily newsletter .

Or if you have a story idea, email us at