• Rikki Lambert

Marshall dashes ex-Liberal footballer's hopes, imposing another bye

Premier Steven Marshall has imposed another bye on all South Australian community sport, while the state's elite football and netball players play on interstate behind closed doors. A former Liberal MP was hoping to be able to play this weekend on the Yorke Peninsula.

At the government's daily press conference to talk about COVID-19, the Premier indicated that there were no further cases of community transmission recorded today. This cleared the proviso the government and state controller Grant Stevens had issued on Monday to enable the statewide one-week lockdown to end at the conclusion of Tuesday.

Premier Marshall said to the gathered Adelaide press gallery:

Whilst we want to see people engaged as quickly as possible we want to do it in a way that is going to be safe so we are allowing sport training to resume as of tomorrow (Wednesday)
"Competition will not start again this weekend but it will start the following weekend.
"We have been talking to all the sporting organisations, we know this is disruptive but we don't want to go backwards."

Former Liberal and independent member for Narungga on the Yorke Peninsula, Fraser Ellis, said he had written to the Premier on Sunday calling for differential treatment for regional South Australia with future COVID-19 restrictions. He told FlowNews24:

"I think we're this far into it, we should have had the opportunity to develop a more nuanced set of restrictions rather than these statewide lockdowns and restrictions.
"There should be consideration given to - and I know that there was, the Premier indicated there was - lower level restrictions in the country. In my view there should be a more nuanced set and slightly lesser set of restrictions in the country than in the city."

Mr Ellis said that as a player he was keen to hit the track again:

"As someone who plays footy in the Yorke Peninsula Football League I'm hoping it can go ahead (this) weekend."

South Australia's AFL sides are encamped in Melbourne playing matches behind closed doors, while the state's Super Netball players are with the other teams in a 'bubble' in south-eastern Queensland concluding their interrupted season.