Australian songstress Tina Arena has emerged as an outspoken critic of Victoria’s Covid lockdown and Premier Daniel Andrews in recent weeks
The Melbourne-based singer, 53, blasted the government’s lack of financial support for the arts industry on Studio 10 on Friday, before urging fans on Instagram Live hours later to vote Mr Andrews out at the next election.
While many agreed with her, others were left unimpressed by her strong opinions about the pandemic, saying she should leave the commentary to the health experts.
Vocal: Tina Arena has drawn the ire of Australians for complaining about the Covid lockdown and urging fans to vote out Dan Andrews – but some supporters say she’s absolutely right
‘Perhaps we can get the health experts to give advice about the entertainment industry?’ one critic wrote, while another said: ‘What medical qualifications do you have, Tina?’
‘So what is she saying, that the government should just let people die so the arts industry won’t be affected? There are so many people in a lot of industries affected financially by this pandemic,’ a third added.
‘It’s easy for her to judge when she’s not having to make very tough decisions in these very difficult times throughout the world.’
A fourth commented: ‘Sorry… but she has no idea. People need a solution or an alternative at an election. Show me that? Otherwise her opinion isn’t worth a thing!’
Another said Tina was out of touch with ordinary Victorians after spending years living in France, where she enjoyed a successful music career.
Feedback: While many agreed with Tina, others were left unimpressed by her strong opinions about the pandemic, saying she should leave the commentary to the health experts
‘Coming from someone who has lived in France for years, we don’t need her opinion,’ one critic wrote.
‘We need Victorians to be safe, and if that means lockdown then most Victorians are abiding by that it doesn’t mean we are happy but we are protecting others.’
But many others agreed with Tina’s view, arguing the lockdowns had gone too far.
‘Good on her. Look at America. They’re out enjoying there lives and the Victorians can’t even leave their houses without being judged or hassled by the police,’ one supporter wrote.
‘She’s right – not just about Dan Andrews but all Australian politicians who have done this and with such ease. It should be a massive feat to remove people’s freedoms and rights, not an 11am conference,’ another added.
‘I agree with her. Let’s get this country back open. At least between states,’ a third wrote.
Plea: Tina had made an impassioned plea for better support for the arts and entertainment industry on Studio 10 on Friday morning
Tina had said on Friday’s Studio 10 she’d struggled because of the lockdowns.
When asked about concerts and music festivals being cancelled while football matches have been allowed to go ahead, she said she ‘hates the differentiation between sport and arts in Australia’.
She called out the double standard, saying: ‘That’s a categoric disrespect. I’m sorry, that’s rude, disrespectful, and shouldn’t be at all allowed to play out.’
‘Sport is a great thing, but life is not just about sport. Life is about art and culture, and art and culture play an equally important role,’ she said.
The Chains hitmaker also pointed out that the arts and entertainment sector has been among the first to help during times of need.
She specifically pointed out the music industry coming together to stage the Artists Unite for Fire Fight benefit concert in 2020.
‘Now we’re in trouble, is someone helping us? No,’ she said.
‘It’s amazing how people just fly away and disappear, however they’re very quick to ask us to work for free, to relinquish any kind of remuneration from sales of record.
‘You know what? Done. We’re done, and now we’re saying it. Just stop this ridiculous, preposterous behaviour. It’s got to stop.’
Double standard: When asked about concerts being cancelled while footy matches have been allowed to go ahead, she said she ‘hates the differentiation between sport and arts in Australia’
On Instagram Live later that evening, she raged about the ‘out-of-this-world’ costs associated with rescheduling tours, then argued the continued restrictions are becoming ‘very, very wrong’.
‘If any of the states think they have the jurisdiction to continue to lock people up in 2022, there’s something very, very wrong in this country. It’s something that’s completely unrealistic,’ she said.
She went on to say she hopes those working in the arts ‘don’t forget’ what this year has been like come election time, implying they should vote out lockdown-obsessed Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.
‘When it comes time to vote for those that we choose to work for us, perhaps next time around we pay a little bit more attention as to who we wish to be at the steering wheel,’ she said.
‘Because quite honestly, it has been the greatest disappointment when a city as beautiful as ours, which was deemed the most liveable in the world…
‘When you look at it now, it’s not at all the most liveable city in the world. I really hope that when it comes to the next election, people take the time to think about who it is they want to actually direct this state.’
Controversial: Mr Andrews (pictured) pushed for relentless lockdowns only to concede defeat and follow NSW’s lead that vaccination is the only way out of the pandemic