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Sport 'Not ready to make that decision': Barilaro hesitant on NRL crowds

07:15  02 june  2020
07:15  02 june  2020 Source:   smh.com.au

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Barilaro, who has been a strong ally for the game in recent months, says that date is too soon and V'landys will need to convince the government and health officials otherwise.

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"We are not ready to make that decision," he said. "We've had no formal proposition by the NRL on how they would manage crowds."

V'landys has in recent weeks said his team is urgently preparing a proposal to take to the state government, which is set to involve infra-red cameras and temperature checks of fans before and during games.

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Spectators will also be required to download the government's COVIDSafe app in order to attend.

Barilaro said V'landys would need to come to the government with a strong pitch, similar to Perisher, Thredbo and Charlotte's Pass who put forward their plan for the ski season to return with capped numbers.

"We are open to any industry wanting to bring packages to us," he said. "So let's look at what Mr V'landys wants to put forward on behalf of the NRL."

The NRL resumed its season on May 28 and was Australia's first football code to do so.

Last week, Premier Gladys Berejiklian also shut down the notion of crowds returning to stadiums from July 1.

"We are not in that space yet," Berejiklian said. "That's up to organisations to consider their options, but certainly we are not in the space yet. We are working our way through the list and that's not on the list as yet."

V'landys is also aiming for sponsors and corporates to return to venues ahead of July 1, a move condemned by Australian Medical Association boss Dr Tony Bartone.

"Put bluntly, this absurd and dangerous idea belongs in the sin bin," Dr Bartone said. "The NRL should be satisfied that it has its competition back in action, but it is unfair and unwise to put the health of the game's fans at risk."

"Now is not the time for sporting codes to be considering having crowds at games. They must wait until the medical experts advise that it is absolutely safe to do so - and that will not be as early as July."

V'landys, though, remained optimistic last week.

"Even though the Premier said all that, we are much less risk being an open-air venue then the venues being allowed to operate in the near future," he said in regards to pubs and clubs being allowed 50 people from June 1.

"I am very confident once they see our submission and our protocols that they will be satisfied."

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