Victoria's Minister for Sport and Tourism Martin Pakula has responded to the scathing criticism Western Australia premier Mark McGowan fired at the 10 Victorian-based AFL clubs.
McGowan slammed the teams on the eastern seaboard who he believes are refusing to "leave their comfort zone" and assist in getting the competition back underway, following a near two-month lockdown due to COVID-19.
The AFL has been looking at the possibility of resuming with quarantine hubs, which would likely be on the east coast where the majority of the competition's 18 clubs are based.
"It appears to me it is the Victorian clubs who aren't willing to leave their comfort zone and come over here and hub in Western Australia, yet they expect our teams to go over there," McGowan said on Thursday. "It's a little bit rich and it seems to me they're a little bit pampered and they should be prepared to do the hard yards and go somewhere else to hub as our clubs are prepared to do."
But Pakula wasn't having any of it, defending the Victorian-based clubs and dismissing the notion they should relocate west.
"Let me get this straight. Our borders are open and AFL clubs can train without quarantine, WA borders are closed and everyone has to quarantine for 14 days," Pakula Tweeted. "So to accommodate WA's position, the other 16 clubs should all relocate to WA & lock down, otherwise they're all soft? Yeah. Nah."
In positive news for the Western Australia-based sides, McGowan confirmed training could resume on May 25 when COVID-19 lockdown restrictions are expected to ease in the state.
"We've said to the AFL that our hard border arrangements will remain intact and they will need to imply with those," McGowan said. "But we have worked over the last couple of days with the clubs so we're going to permit the clubs to undertake full contact training from the 25th of May in Western Australia as long as the facilities and arrangements are not open to the general public."