Brownlow Medal 2021: WA Premier Mark McGowan poses with his wife Sarah on the red carpet in Perth – after sensationally stopping NSW and Victorian fans from entering the state for the AFL Grand Final
Mark McGowan and his wife Sarah were all smiles as they posed on the red carpet at the Brownlow Medal in Perth on Sunday night.
The Western Australian Premier, 54, appeared in high spirits as he attended AFL‘s night of nights alongside a whole host of high-profile sporting greats.
Mr McGowan dressed smartly in a crisp white shirt, a bow tie and a black blazer and trousers.
The event of the year: Mark McGowan and his wife Sarah were all smiles as they posed on the red carpet at the Brownlow Medal in Perth on Sunday night
His wife Sarah, who he wed in 1996, wore an emerald floor-length gown which she teamed with a black clutch bag.
She accessorised with a silver bracelet on her wrist, and wore her hair in a casual wavy style.
Mr McGowan’s red carpet appearance comes just weeks after he sensationally banned all footy stars, commentators including Eddie McGuire, fans from NSW and Victoria, and even players’ WAGs from this month’s AFL Grand Final in Perth.
WA have taken over hosting the sporting event on September 25 because lockdown restrictions in traditional host city Melbourne would prevent a crowd attending.
Normally thousands of fans along with commentators and the sport’s biggest names and former greats, plus media and players’ families would flood in for the event.
But the WA premier – who owes much of his local popularity to a zealous enforcement of border closures – said only the barest essential people would be allowed to enter the state for the big day.
Demure: His wife Sarah, who he wed in 1996, wore an emerald floor-length gown which she teamed with a black clutch bag
Eddie McGuire, 56, told Triple M Perth radio at the start of the month that the WA Government had denied his application for entry to the state to work as a commentator at the grand final.
‘I don’t think there has to be a reasoning. I think they just say yes or no,’ he said when asked why he was going to miss his first grand final since 1972.
‘Look, I’m disappointed, because we’d planned to do a whole lot of great things around the grand final.’
Mr McGowan was asked on Mix 94.5FM radio about McGuire’s rejection from the state, despite the former Collingwood president claiming he was essential as a commentator and presenter with Fox Footy.
Chic: She accessorised with a silver bracelet on her wrist, and wore her hair in a casual wavy style
‘I’m trying to protect him from Western Australians, I’m doing it for his own good,’ he first joked, referring to McGuire’s unpopularity in the state due to previous role as Collingwood president.
‘He’s not happy, he wanted to come in, but unfortunately Eddie can’t come, he’s not essential for the game so he has to stay in Melbourne.’
Mr McGowan reassured Western Australians worried the grand final would bring coronavirus into his state that it would be even stricter than in Brisbane last year.
‘Last year when Queensland did it, they had all the wives and girlfriends – we’re not doing that,’ he said.
‘We’re not allowing anyone out of NSW, so none of the football players or their entourage are coming out of NSW.
‘The NSW teams have been based in Covid-free states – we have very strong rules about NSW for obvious reasons.’
‘Tourists will be able to come from South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory, and potentially Queensland by that time, because they’re Covid-free states,’ Mr McGowan added.
Missing out: Commentator and former Collingwood president Eddie McGuire said his application for an exemption to enter WA for the final was rejected. Mr McGowan confirmed McGuire would ‘have to stay in Melbourne’ as he was ‘not essential to the game’