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‘You’re a dobber’: Project hosts’ fiery clash over lockdown

Project panellists Peter Helliar and Steve Price clashed over Melbourne’s strict lockdown measures in a fiery debate on Monday night’s episode.The discussion came after Carrie Bickmore had read a news update explaining that, while some coronavirus lockdown measures such as Melbourne’s curfew have been lifted, there are still hefty fines in place for anyone caught…

Project panellists Peter Helliar and Steve Price clashed over Melbourne’s strict lockdown measures in a fiery debate on Monday night’s episode.

The discussion came after Carrie Bickmore had read a news update explaining that, while some coronavirus lockdown measures such as Melbourne’s curfew have been lifted, there are still hefty fines in place for anyone caught breaking the rules – including possible $5000 fines for anyone caught attending a house party.

“Ten parties (in Melbourne) over the weekend; one of them had 40 people. Now, 40’s obviously over the top, but would you dob in someone who had half a dozen people over at their house for a barbecue?” asked Price.

Helliar’s response was immediate: “I wouldn’t think twice about it.”

“Really? You’re a dobber? You’re a dobber. It’s unAustralian, Peter,” Price goaded.

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“Mate, I don’t care. That’s bulls**t,” Helliar shot back, as Price repeated his “unAustralian” claim.

“You can say it again if you want – I’ll say the same thing,” Helliar continued. “Haven’t you been paying attention to what we’ve all been going through? We’re so close to the end. The fact that 40 people are like-minded enough to think that it’s OK to have a party is ridiculous.”

Bickmore had some advice for Price if he wanted to have a small gathering: Sit in a park.

“Well what’s the difference between sitting in a park or sitting in my backyard?”

“Because that’s what you’re allowed to do!” said an exasperated Bickmore.

Host Waleed Aly asked Price if he was planning to host an illegal house party himself, which prompted a confusing response from the veteran broadcaster: “Yes! I am! Yes! … Let me be clear, I’m not encouraging people to break the law. I’m saying, don’t dob them in.”

Judging by the reaction on social media, it appeared many didn’t agree with him:

The heated debate comes after Price made an emotional confession on-air last month, revealing that Melbourne’s strict second coronavirus lockdown had hit him hard.

“I feel sad for all of the businesses that aren’t going to recover. I feel very anxious for the state that I’ve spent much of my life living in, that many of the things we take for granted may never come back. The first time around it was sort of unique; we didn’t really know what it was going to be like. Now we know what it’s going to be like, and you can’t see an end,” he said, before giving heartbreaking detail about his own family situation.

“My mother’s in her late 80s; I’ve seen her once this year. She’s in the zone where anything could happen. I just feel gutted that I might never physically see her again. It’s awful. It’s awful,” he said.

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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus.