It’s a 38-year Melbourne tradition but the AFL grand final parade is set to be booted out of the CBD.
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed options for a new central city route, ending at a large park, are being considered for this year’s parade.
The parade would become the centrepiece of an AFL family day, held on a dedicated public holiday, while in the past the event has been for “men in suits” who could step out of CBD offices.
“I think we’re going to see a perhaps a different route, a different end point of the parade, and this is going to be the biggest family day the AFL has ever run,” Mr Andrews told SEN radio on Wednesday.
“The trains are going to be full coming into the city – families from the suburbs, families from regions who have no opportunity to be part of the parade now because mum and dad are at work.
“Not everyone is happy about this but we made a commitment and we’re going to honour that.”
Labor promised before the November state election to create a new Grand Final Eve public holiday, which this year will fall on October 2.
The parade has attracted huge crowds to the CBD in the past but this was not on a public holiday.
The change has drawn fire from Melbourne Lord Mayor Rob Doyle, who told Fairfax he would be devastated if this “great event and very important attraction” was shifted away from the CBD.
Deputy Liberal leader David Hodgett said Melbourne’s CBD would be a ghost town on a day when the grand final parade usually attracted thousands.
“Daniel Andrews has effectively killed off the grand final parade,” Mr Hodgett said.
Mr Hodgett said the new penalty rates would push up the cost of the parade.