Daniel Andrews has weighed in on the Novak Djokovic visa saga, saying he hopes the controversy won’t overshadow the Australian Open tennis tournament.
“This tournament, this Grand Slam tournament – one of the big four – is much bigger than any one person,” the Victorian Premier said on Sunday.
He also said the entire issue could have been avoided if Djokovic had gotten vaccinated against Covid-19.
“It’s very simple, just get vaccinated. And then everyone’s time wouldn’t have to be wasted with this.”
Djokovic, one of the world’s top tennis players, is facing deportation after Immigration Minister Alex Hawke overturned his visa.
Prior to arriving in Australia last week, Djokovic had been approved for a visa on the grounds that he was exempt from vaccination due to having already had Covid-19.
But when he arrived in Melbourne he was told that was not a valid excuse and had his visa cancelled.
The Serbian star fought his deportation in the Federal Circuit Court last week, a case which he won.
That decision was overturned by Mr Hawke on Friday on “health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so”.
The case was back in court on Sunday.
Mr Andrews said he wouldn’t comment on the court case.