Stunning call to cancel Australian Open
A Victorian MP has delivered a fairly bold ultimatum to Premier Daniel Andrews as a fifth positive coronavirus case linked to the Australian Open was confirmed.
Speaking with 2GB on Monday, Liberal MP Tim Smith accused the State Government of double standards for welcoming international players to the event while the state remained closed to Australians from certain areas and as some Victorians remained trapped interstate due to tough border rules.
"It's completely unfair, its wrong and the double standards stink to high heavens," he told Ben Fordham.
"Daniel Andrews should be standing up for Victorians, not global tennis players.
"Bring the Victorians home or cancel the Australian Open."
More than 70 players are undergoing a hard two-week lockdown after positive COVID-19 cases were identified on three flights carrying competitors Down Under for the Australian Open, which begins next month.
After initially believing they'd be allowed out of their hotel for five hours a day to practise and receive treatment, Victorian health authorities have declared anyone on those flights must remain in isolation and not leave their room for 14 days.
The change sparked a furious backlash among players, who claimed the rules had been "rewritten overnight".
But few will sympathise with the tennis community, given some healthy Australians are still not allowed to cross borders in their own country while international sports stars are allowed in.
Mr Smith's call to cancel the Australian Open came just hours after he was slammed for calling Stan Wawrinka a "flog" and taking aim at tennis stars complaining about their 14-day quarantine after arriving in Australia.
Mr Smith, who was extremely critical of the lockdowns imposed by the Victorian premier during the height of coronavirus in Melbourne and the rest of the state, reacted to a photo of Wawrinka eating a meal in his hotel room while blowing up about the "double standard" of allowing tennis players into Australia.
"For every Victorian currently in Sydney that is banned from returning home by Daniel Andrews, this obscene double standard, where this flog of a tennis player is allowed in, and our own people aren't, must make so many Victorian families incandescent," Mr Smith tweeted.
"Roger Federer … all class … let's hope he can come back when it's safe to come back and no risk to all hardworking Victorians!"
Mr Smith came under fire because while many players complained, three-time grand slam champion Wawrinka was not one of them and is happy to abide by the quarantine rules - as his post showed.
Originally published as Stunning call to cancel Australian Open