It seems that Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews cannot escape the spotlight of negativity following news of the State’s AFL Grand Final public holiday being replaced.
It comes amid tensions within Australia’s home of sport which has been under Stage 4 lockdowns for the past five weeks as Andrews attempts to quell the second wave of COVID-19 which has crippled the State. While stuck in lockdown conditions, Melbourne resident Vic Vinegar is livid that he will only be granted one sport-related public holiday in Spring this year after Grand Final Friday was axed due to the AFL Grand Final being moved to Brisbane, where it will be played away from Melbourne for the first time in history.
“The best thing about living in Melbourne is the public holidays we get for football and horse racing,” said Vinegar.
The introduction of Grand Final Friday was part of the Labor Government’s election promises in 2014, despite the fact that the public holiday costs Victoria $1.6 billion in lost productivity and more than $200 million in extra penalty rates.
The day itself happens to also come just five weeks before the Melbourne Cup public holiday where Victorians take the first Tuesday of November off to watch a 3-minute horse race while all other States are at work.
Although Vinegar was notified that he would still be given the Friday off with Andrews temporarily re-naming it Thank You Day, in reference to healthcare workers, he demanded Andrews make up for pandemic blunders by declaring new Victorian public holidays that ensure 3-day weekends around the Australian Open Final and Melbourne Grand Prix.
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