Violent Australia vaccine protest: Reporter attacked live on air as tradies march in Melbourne, Victoria

An Australian journalist was repeatedly assaulted and verbally abused live on TV on Tuesday, as hundreds of tradies took to the streets in Melbourne in a violent COVID-19 protest.

A swarm of trade workers gathered outside the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) office for the second day in a row on Tuesday morning, where they were met with resistance by police.

The stand-off comes after the Victorian government controversially announced all construction workers would need to have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to be allowed to work from Friday onwards.

After violent demonstrations outside the CFMEU office on Monday, Victoria opted to shut down construction for two weeks, prompting workers to return to the streets in protest again on Tuesday.

The demonstrations once more became violent, and in alarming scenes, 7 News reporter Paul Dowsley was attacked and abused by demonstrators repeatedly while live on air.

At one point, a man could be seen putting Dowsley in a headlock as others gathered round, and later an energy drink can was hurled at his head, leaving him with a nasty gash.

"There was a group there who certainly targeted us a few minutes ago… a few in the crowd had it in for mainstream media," Dowsley said during one live cross.

"I'm not sure what you saw on screen but a man came from the side grabbed me around the neck and others then joined in and started a scuffle."

Tradies were unhappy at the Victorian government's mandatory vaccine mandate.
Tradies were unhappy at the Victorian government's mandatory vaccine mandate. Photo credit: Getty Images

Dowsley said another protester poured urine on him and his camera operator, which got in his mouth.

"I'm just a journalist doing my job, doing my best to tell you the facts as they are presented to me and as I see them," he said.

After hours marching in Melbourne's CBD, ABC reports protesters walked down the West Gate Freeway, forcing police to divert traffic. Police in riot gear attempted to calm the crowd, some of whom could be heard chanting "f*** the jab".