Right call on footy, tough road ahead

The Advertiser - - LETTERS -

IT is un­der­stand­able South Aus­tralians want to see life re­turn to nor­mal as quickly as pos­si­ble – and see­ing the AFL sea­son kick off on June 11 will be ev­i­dence we’re head­ing in that di­rec­tion.

But, even with yes­ter­day’s marvellous news that SA now has no known ac­tive cases of COVID-19, we are not there yet. As Pre­mier Steven Marshall noted: “It’s a day for cel­e­bra­tion but also vig­i­lance.”

He is right to say these hard won gains need pro­tect­ing. The Govern­ment made the right call at the right time to refuse ex­emp­tions to so­cial dis­tanc­ing and quar­an­tine rules for the Ade­laide Crows and Port Ade­laide, in order to base them­selves in SA. It would have sent a poor mes­sage at a time when all sec­tions of so­ci­ety are mak­ing sac­ri­fices to win the war against the virus. But the com­mu­ni­ca­tion was ham­fisted, dur­ing a week the Govern­ment should re­gard as its poor­est since the start of the out­break.

Whether it meant to send mixed mes­sages or not, the fact re­mains the clubs felt largely blind­sided by the de­ci­sion. This was not helped by the fact that, dur­ing the same pe­riod, a se­ries of pho­to­graphs, pub­lished by The Ad­ver­tiser, emerged show­ing packed peak hour train car­riages.

This was com­pounded by a baf­fling re­sponse. One mo­ment the min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble, Stephan Knoll, said there was noth­ing to worry about; the next the chief pub­lic health of­fi­cer Pro­fes­sor Ni­cole Spurrier said peo­ple should avoid trains if they could not so­cial dis­tance. Fi­nally Pre­mier Steven Marshall said more ser­vices would be added. Con­fused yet?

These were by no means crit­i­cal er­rors. But the Govern­ment would do well not to be so non­cha­lant off the bat in the fu­ture. Then there is dis­con­tent bub­bling just be­neath the sur­face over the breadth of re­stric­tions ham­per­ing lo­cal busi­nesses, at a time when other states ap­pear are mov­ing more quickly. Look no fur­ther than pubs in NSW. Up un­til now, the Govern­ment’s per­for­mance has been, by and large, flaw­less. To­day’s health fig­ures high­light that. From here, though, it will be tested.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.