The first signs of a break-through in the country footy crowds impasse have emerged with the Victorian government on the brink of a backdown.
The Border Mail understands the government's Public Events Framework is under genuine review, in particular "tier two" stipulation which relates to crowds of more than 1000 and less than 5000 people for matches at Victorian venues.
Clubs presently need to submit applications for games they expect the 1000-patron cap to be exceeded.
The issue is magnified for leagues on the Victorian-NSW border including Ovens and Murray and Tallangatta and District with NSW-based clubs presently having 3000 patron cap with the likelihood of them being increased before the end of the month.
A decision about changes could be made before the weekend.
But a call would need the imprimatur of the state's chief health officer, Brett Sutton.
IN OTHER NEWS
Clubs would still need to submit a COVID-safe event plan to government.
"We applaud the passion of football and netball fans and know they are keen to watch their teams when the season begins," a government spokesperson said.
"The Public Events Framework is an important part of protecting the health of Victorians and we greatly appreciate the co-operation that has been shown by organisers from across the state.
"Any changes to the framework would be based on the advice of the chief health officer and communicated at the earliest opportunity."
AFLNEB chairman John Byrne.welcomed the prospect of the existing rules about crowds being changed.
"If the indication the rules around crowds are going to be changed in a positive way it is a going to be very good news for our clubs, volunteers and spectators on the Victorian side of the border," he said.
"After a year without country footy and netball people want to return to matches in coming weeks.
"They will also be prepared to be COVID-safe like they have for the last 12 months in any setting where there are rules in place like restaurants, pubs and cafes."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: