All eyes are once again on Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews for a much-anticipated easing of COVID-19 restrictions following his "circuit-breaker" statewide lockdown ending a week ago.
As devastating as the shutdown was for business, in particular regional hospitality which bore the brunt of the drastic measures, the Premier would rightly point to the scoreboard and say the pain was worth it in preventing a third wave of the virus running wild in Melbourne.
Yesterday, his NSW counterpart, Gladys Berejiklian released the brakes in her state with one of the instant beneficiaries being a bigger crowd able to attend the Melbourne Storm-Newcastle Knights NRL trial match to be played at Albury Sportsground on Saturday.
Organisers were initially told they could have 3000 people, but the figured has been revised up to 3750.
Enviously looking on are Victorian football-netball clubs which have been told they can only have 1000 people at games.
The disparity makes no sense for regions like ours which have pulled out a best-on-ground response to COVID-19, but are still being punished on the desperate road back to normality from a year in which no community sport was played.
Even more frustrating for local players, fans and volunteers is the red carpet treatment afforded events such as the Australian Open tennis to go ahead in Melbourne.
Clubs have been told they can have crowds of more than 1000 people if they fill out lengthy submissions for health officials which take an eternity to tick them off.
The same applies to festivals, racehorse meetings and rodeos with some of our most iconic events such as the Towong Cup, Mighty Mitta Muster and Man From Snowy River Bush Festival just around the corner and hoping to get the green light for a meaningful occasion
The community has given up so much for so long not to do the right thing in continuing to keep eachother virus-free and will happily play ball in abiding by proportionate and appropriate COVID safety rules given the opportunity.
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