Liberal Party AGM in South Australia has 300 delegates in room as weddings, funerals capped at 150

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Engaged couples denied permission for a big wedding are outraged after more than 300 Liberal Party delegates crowded into a convention centre to hear Scott Morrison speak.

The Prime Minister flew into Adelaide on Friday, just one day after South Australia opened its border to his home state of New South Wales.

The next morning, he addressed 300 delegates at the Adelaide Convention Centre for the Liberal Party’s annual general meeting. 

The number of attendees on Saturday was double SA’s existing cap of 150 people for both weddings and funerals. 

Under contentious COVID-19 rules, indoor conventions and lectures are allowed to hold up to 1,000 people on the condition everyone is kept two metres apart and provides their contact details. 

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Engaged couples denied permission for a big wedding are outraged after more than 300 Liberal Party delegates crowded into a convention centre to hear Scott Morrison speak. Heidi Girolamo, a Liberal Party candidate for the 2022 election, posted this Instagram image showing delegates seated near the front of the stage, showing little social distancing

Engaged couples denied permission for a big wedding are outraged after more than 300 Liberal Party delegates crowded into a convention centre to hear Scott Morrison speak. Heidi Girolamo, a Liberal Party candidate for the 2022 election, posted this Instagram image showing delegates seated near the front of the stage, showing little social distancing

Daily Mail Australia is not suggesting the ruling Liberal Party flouted its own coronavirus restrictions in South Australia. 

Heidi Girolamo, a Liberal Party candidate for the 2022 state election, posted Instagram images of the conference showing delegates seated near the front of the stage, showing little visible social distancing.

‘Privileged to be able to attend the Liberal Party SA Division AGM and hear from our Prime Minister and Premier,’ she said.  

She hailed being able to attend a gathering with Mr Morrison and SA Premier Steven Marshall, whose government is restricting wedding and funeral gatherings but allowed the AFL a crowded Friday night ceremony for the Adelaide Crows Best and Fairest event.

In another Instagram image, there was a sign on the stage, ‘Keeping SA safe and strong’ in front of delegates bunched up together near the stage as former SA premier and outgoing party president John Olsen spoke. 

She hailed being able to attend a gathering with Mr Morrison and SA Premier Steven Marshall (pictured left), whose government is restricting wedding and funeral gatherings but allowed the AFL a crowded Friday night ceremony for the Adelaide Crows Best and Fairest event

She hailed being able to attend a gathering with Mr Morrison and SA Premier Steven Marshall (pictured left), whose government is restricting wedding and funeral gatherings but allowed the AFL a crowded Friday night ceremony for the Adelaide Crows Best and Fairest event

An engaged couple told 7News in Adelaide they were upset with the double standard.

‘It’s very frustrating because you’ve gone through all this time stressing about, planning for the wedding and this sort of thing and all of a sudden it’s,  “Hey, let’s have a function because the Prime Minister’s in town”,’ the would-be groom said. 

Deputy Opposition Leader Susan Close said it was hypocritical for the Liberal Party to hold a state council AGM with 300 people as function venues across the state struggled with wedding crowd restrictions.

‘This is a time when there should be weddings all across South Australia,’ the Labor MP told 7News.

‘Yet those businesses are right on the knife edge of survival and we see the Liberal Party getting together for a Liberal AGM.’

This isn’t the first time the Liberal Party in SA has held a crowded event, despite restrictions on crowd numbers elsewhere.

In another Instagram image, there was a sign on the stage, 'Keeping SA safe and strong' in front of delegates bunched up together near the stage as former SA premier and outgoing party president John Olsen spoke

In another Instagram image, there was a sign on the stage, ‘Keeping SA safe and strong’ in front of delegates bunched up together near the stage as former SA premier and outgoing party president John Olsen spoke

On August 6, 200 people gathered at the Adelaide Oval convention centre for the Liberal Women’s Council annual general meeting, back when weddings and funerals were restricted to 100 people. 

A Liberal Party party from SA told Daily Mail Australia last month’s Women’s Council last month and Saturday’s annual general meeting were both timed to help the moderate faction maintain its dominate over the rival conservative faction.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham, a Liberal, is the most senior moderate from South Australia in the federal cabinet. 

On August 6, 200 people gathered at the Adelaide Oval convention centre for the Liberal Women's Council annual general meeting, back when weddings and funerals were restricted to 100 people

On August 6, 200 people gathered at the Adelaide Oval convention centre for the Liberal Women’s Council annual general meeting, back when weddings and funerals were restricted to 100 people

The Liberal Party member said the reopening of SA to NSW meant the AGM would be held at a time that benefited the moderate faction, which Mr Marshall belongs to.

‘My personal view is Birmo didn’t want the borders to open until he could have the state AGM,’ the source said.

‘If they’d opened too early any cases in SA would have stopped the large AGMs going ahead.’ 

Daily Mail Australia contacted the Liberal Party’s South Australian branch and Mr Marshall’s office for a right of reply. 

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