'Necessary intrusion': Drones to monitor AFL fans for grand final

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Melbourne residents are pictured wearing Richmond Tigers colours, with an image of a drone inset.
Victoria Police are going to use drones to monitor citizens in Melbourne on Grand Final weekend to ensure coronavirus restrictions continue to be followed.. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Drones will be used to monitor Victorian footy fans for this weekend’s AFL grand final to ensure there are no parties held that would be in breach of the state’s strict coronavirus rules.

As cases continue to hold steady in Melbourne after months of strict lockdown measures, residents have recently enjoyed some relaxing of the strict rules around gathering with friends and family.

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While two households can gather in groups of up to 10 people in public spaces after the latest loosening of restrictions, Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has made a point of communicating that parties over the grand final weekend are banned.

“While I know that many people would normally spend time with family and friends to celebrate that day, whether their team is in the grand final or not, it is a big part of who we are," he said.

“But your household and only the members of your household, that is how grand final day has to be.

“You cannot have friends over into your home.

“You cannot pretend that it is over because we all desperately want it to be.

“It is not worth risking all that we have done, all that we have built, all that we can do in just a few days' time by having gatherings that are unsafe.”

Part of enforcing that rule will be the use of drones to monitor citizens in areas such as public parks and beaches, as well as suburban backyards.

Eddie McGuire says drone monitoring ‘necessary intrusion’

Discussing the upcoming Grand Final on the TODAY show on Thursday, Collingwood president Eddie McGuire said Melbournians should accept their use as a ‘necessary intrusion’ in order to preserve their hard-fought gains against the second wave of the pandemic.

“I say just everybody do the right thing this weekend," he said.

“I think these (drones) sometimes can get put up so people pull up.

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire is pictured.
Collingwood president Eddie McGuire says Melbourne residents should regard the use of police drones over grand final weekend as a 'necessary intrusion'. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

“Melburnians have gone through hell over the last six months. We're nearly there.

“So let's get it through grand final and then hopefully focus and get to Christmas.”

Richmond progressed to their third grand final in four years when they defeated Port Adelaide in last Friday’s preliminary final.

They will face Geelong in the decider, who toppled the Brisbane Lions to win through to the deciding game of the season.

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