Calls for AFL Grand Final crowd to give Victoria a standing OVATION as Melbourne loses its selective match, suffers the world’s longest lockdown, is rocked by an earthquake AND it will rain over the weekend
- Perth Mayor Basil Zempalis Called for Standing Ovation at AFL Grand Final
- The AFL personality said WA locals wanted to show support for Victorians
- Melbourne rocked by lockdowns, protest and earthquake in recent months
- Saturday’s Melbourne v Western Bulldogs match will be played in Perth
- WA’s capital faces perfect balmy spring conditions as it rains in VIC
The audience of the AFL Grand Final should give the Victorians a standing ovation in support after the state endured two of the most difficult years in memory, the mayor of Perth said.
Basil Zempalis – a familiar face to AFL fans thanks to his role as a presenter – was elected leader of WA’s capital in 2020 and tentatively filed a petition on Friday morning’s Triple M breakfast show.
“The empathy for Victorians this week has been very good and maybe we can create a magical, iconic moment during the game on Saturday,” said the 50-year-old.
WA Prime Minister Mark McGowan (pictured) speaking at Optus Stadium ahead of the AFL Grand Final in Perth on Saturday
Melbourne has been locked down for longer than any other city in the world (Photo: Melburnians in August)
The idea was given to him by former Fremantle Docker Paul Haselby, who said Western Australians would like to do something as a mark of respect for Melburnians who will miss their biggest sporting event for the second year.
“I thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to give a standing ovation to our friends in Victoria at some point in the game, just to say thank you for thinking of you,” Zempalis said.
“If 60,000 people suddenly stood up at the Grand Final and the Victorians applauded, that would be pretty special.”
Melburnians have had a hard time with the Victorian capital being locked up for longer than any other city in the world.
A protester stands by a flare at Tuesday’s protest as thousands of traders wearing signage protest lockdown measures and their right to refuse a Covid-19 vaccine
On Friday, the city will be in its 236th day of closure since the Covid pandemic began in March 2020.
If the city reopens as estimated on October 26, when 70 percent is fully vaccinated, the days in lockdown will sit at 267.
That beats the lockdown of London by 60 days, Beunos Aires by 22 days and Sydney by 100 days.
Considered by many to be the sporting and cultural heart of Australia, their cafes, pubs and alleyways have been abandoned for months and this will be the second year the Grand Final has moved to another city, with last year’s event in Brisbane.
The city was hit by a magnitude 5.9 earthquake on Wednesday as protesters flooded the city
Perth Mayor Basil Zempalis tweeted his idea for support for the Melburnians who missed their grand finale
The city has also been rocked by protests in which unruly crowds have descended on the CBD streets and clashed with police in riot gear – scenes many have called un-Australian.
And to top it off, an earthquake – the largest ever recorded in Melbourne – literally shook the city to its core on Wednesday.
The earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale in Mansfield, about 100 km east of the city, was felt as far as Sydney and Tasmania.
“What do you think, does that idea have merit?” asked Zemaplis.
“I was thinking about when you’d get the standing ovation and I had an idea. What about 60 seconds after 20 minutes and 21 seconds – 2021?’
Co-host Jenna Clarke (pictured) agreed the move would be a ‘beautiful’ moment in an otherwise difficult year
“I think that’s a nice gesture,” co-host Jenna Clarke replied.
A little morale boost could be just the ticket for Victorians who will spend a rainy weekend watching the Melbourne v Western Bulldogs match at Optus Stadium played in perfect balmy conditions.
According to the Weather Bureau, Perth is in for a pleasant spring evening with mercury reaching around 21°C in time for the first jump and no rain during the race.
“For those lucky enough to have a ticket to the grand final, it may be worth packing a jacket as conditions cool down during the match,” meteorologist James Ashley told The West Australian.
But Melbourne faces a wet and chilly Saturday with early showers – although they should head east by midday – and a maximum temperature of just 13C.
Riot police are seen outside Victoria’s Parliament House during Tuesday’s protest, a day after violent protesters damaged CFMEU headquarters in Melbourne’s CBD