Daniel Andrews escorted from Bendigo event by police after cancelling press conference due to safety concerns over pandemic bill protests

Protesters were heard chanting “kill the bill” and “sack Dan Andrews” as the Premier was whisked away from the event in Bendigo amid fears for his safety.

Premier Daniel Andrews was forced to cancel a press conference in Bendigo amid police fears for his safety after a small group of demonstrators protesting COVID-19 vaccine mandates and his new pandemic laws arrived at the event.

Mr Andrews was visiting the country town, about 150 kilometres northwest of Melbourne, on Wednesday to unveil the redevelopment of Bendigo TAFE.

He toured the campus and spoke at the TAFE’s official opening event before being swiftly removed from the site, sidelined by Victoria Police officers.

The Premier was expected to speak to regional journalists at the conclusion of the formal proceedings but instead opted to take the advice of officers and briskly leave the town.

A small group of protesters, holding signs that read “vaccines, my body, my choice” and “kill the bill”, waited outside the TAFE campus.

Footage shared to social media showed the moment the protesters heckled Mr Andrews as he was taken to a white Volkswagen.

They were heard chanting “kill the bill” and “sack Dan Andrews”.

The incident comes after protesters in Melbourne hurled abuse at Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton and COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar as they left parliament on Tuesday.

Footage shared to social media showed both men were flanked by two police officers before four more appeared to protect them as they neared the bottom of the steps of the building.

Demonstrators could be heard calling them “scumbags” and “rat dogs”.

The pair were then seen jogging up the street to safety while the group continued to scream and threaten them in the 30-second incident.

The proposed legislation, which has passed in the lower house, would see Mr Andrews given more power to declare a pandemic and extend it for three months at a time if necessary after consultation with the CHO.

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