Sam Newman lashes out over Victorian lockdown 'lunacy'

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Sam Newman, pictured here at an AFL game at the MCG.
Sam Newman says it's 'lunacy' that golf has been banned. Image: Twitter/Getty

Sam Newman has once again hit out at the fact he can’t play golf, saying it’s “lunacy” considering bottle shops and liquor stores are still open.

Victoria has been forced to impose Stage 4 restrictions after a concerning spike in coronavirus cases over the last month, with a curfew in place between 8am and 5pm.

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Golf is once again off the table, while most retail in Melbourne will be closed to customers.

However supermarkets, grocery stores and bottle shops are among the retailers allowed to stay open, leaving Newman gobsmacked.

“Open: bottle shops and liquor stores. Shut: golf courses,” Newman tweeted on Monday.

“Dilemma — sit a home and get s**t-faced OR step into the wide open spaces, well away from others, exercising as you do, by playing GOLF. And the lunacy goes on.”

Newman marched on Victorian parliament earlier this year in protest of the state’s ban on recreational golf.

The former AFL player continues to express his disdain that Melburnians can still queue in long crowds at supermarkets and bottle shops but can’t play golf in an environment where social-distancing comes a lot easier.

“The 100,000 out of work may want to play GOLF — seeing as they’re out of work,” Newman added in response to one user questioning whether golf is an important consideration at a time when many are losing their jobs.

Daniel Andrews defends new restrictions

Announcing the new rules to fight the state's second wave of the virus on Monday, Premier Daniel Andrews urged people not to panic buy.

“Supermarkets as well as grocery stores, the local fruit and veg, the local butcher, the baker, all of those shops, they will remain open,” he said.

“There'll be more to go around if people buy what they need when they need it rather than going and buying four trolleys worth of groceries and enough chicken or beef to last you until Christmas.

“That's not necessary.”

The premier said people will still be able to shop online or via click and collect services, while hardware stores will only remain open for tradespeople.

About 250,000 people were expected to be impacted by the changes and it would have a “very significant impact” on the state's economy for years, Mr Andrews said.

He said the alternative was having up to 500 cases of COVID-19 a day, which would eventually overwhelm the hospital system and lead to more deaths.

“It is heartbreaking, it is very challenging, but these are tough calls that have to be made,” he said.

Sam Newman, pictured here at the World Cup of Golf in 2016.
Sam Newman plays a shot on Pro-Am Day ahead of the World Cup of Golf in 2016. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

It comes as the state recorded 429 new cases of coronavirus on Monday and 13 deaths, taking the state toll to 136 and the national figure to 221.

It equals last Thursday as the state's worst day for fatalities.

Of the 13 deaths announced on Monday, eight were linked to outbreaks in aged care facilities.

The latest grim figures come as the state begins a six-week lockdown, which is expected to run until at least September 13.

Under the new restrictions, residents of metropolitan Melbourne must follow an 8pm-5am curfew and can't travel more than 5km from home for shopping or exercise.

with AAP