Wagga MP Joe McGirr has defended his attendance at the city's Black Lives Matter rally after Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that type of gathering was a "massive spanner in the works" of coronavirus recovery.
Wagga's Black Lives Matter rally saw an estimated 1500 people march through the city on Saturday in support of racial injustice protests in the US and against Indigenous disadvantage and deaths in custody.
Dr McGirr told The Daily Advertiser that Wagga's rally was run within health guidelines and his presence had not contributed to a risk of new infections.
"We have a very low risk of community transmission, we have had no cases for two months now," he said.
"The rally was organised peacefully and the organisers went to great lengths to reinforce the messages around safety.
"They organised it in conjunction with police and the council and I spoke to police, I spoke to council and I spoke to the organisers and I think they did a good job sending that message to the group, and it took place out of doors and people behaved in a safe, careful way."
Mr Morrison told 2GB radio that "mass rallies" put the easing of pandemic restrictions "at risk", especially the limits on attendees at funerals that have caused a lot of distress.
"By all means, raise your issue. But by doing this, they have put the whole track back to recovery at risk and certainly any further action on this front would be absolutely unacceptable on any terms because we want to see [normal activities] come back in," Mr Morrison said.
NSW Police has taken the Refugee Action Coalition to court to fight its application for a rally in Sydney this Saturday.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that "if anybody does anything that breaches the health orders, they should be fined, absolutely".
"If people break the law they should be charged," she said.
Dr McGirr said he agreed with the decision to enforce health orders against any new rallies this Saturday.
"I think it's probably a sensible idea," Dr McGirr said.
"The point about the issues has been made and I think if the government wants to create that certainty, then that's a good idea."
Dr McGirr said he was "very pleased" to hear Mr Morrison speak about "raising the targets for lowering Indigenous incarceration rates" after the rally.
"I think that's a very positive step".
On Thursday, Victorian authorities urged thousands of people to self-isolate after one of the attendees at a Black Lives Matter rally in Melbourne tested positive for coronavirus.
Dr McGirr said it was possible that people who went to other rallies could also test positive.
"We're not sure what they would have done if they were not at the rally and we know that people have been going to shopping centres and restrictions are increasingly being lifted," he said.
"If you have got symptoms, you need to get tested and you need to have the COVIDSafe app so we can do contact tracing."