We Aussies are known as a nation that enjoys a good bet so you might think that Premier Dan Andrews is a betting man with his determination to hold the Australian Open Tennis Tournament in Melbourne over this fortnight.
But you can bet there are a good number of Victorians who have just emerged from over 100 days of pandemic lock-down who now have concerns about the sudden arrival into Victoria of the world’s greatest tennis stars and their retinue of support staff and partners.
You can bet the lucky 300 ball girls and ball boys are delighted to be away from school and close to the world’s tennis champions for 2 weeks. But they won’t be condemned by the Prime Minister in the same way that he condemned the School Strike 4 Climate students who had taken a day off school because they thought the governments we adults elect should be doing more to help save the Earth.
And the argument that if Australia doesn’t hold this tennis tournament, some other country will hold this tournament is about as specious as the argument that if we don’t sell our coal, another country will buy coal from some other country.
But it is particularly galling for those many thousands of Australians, still living overseas, often in dire circumstances, who have been trying to fly back home to their loved ones in Australia for many months, while a large number of celebrities can jet-set into Australia just like that. How sporting is that? In terms of justice and equity, is that a fair call?
Harry Johnson, Iluka