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Return of the weekend in Victoria, as fishing, hunting and golfing given green light

Fisherman Bob Pearce hopes the fish have been lulled into a false sense of security with the lack of boats on the water.

“I think there’ll be a lot of people who will want to play a bit of catch-up,” said the member of the Albert Park Yachting and Angling Club.

“We hope the fish have lost some of their inhibitions because we haven’t been chasing them.”

The club’s president, Philip Langdon, said he couldn’t recall a time when people were not allowed to fish in his 60 years in the sport.

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Most people had largely accepted the government’s reasons why they weren’t allowed to do the thing they love, he said.

But frustration has come from Victoria having different rules to neighbouring states, such as NSW.

There were even questions put to authorities about whether it was legal for Victorians on the border to fish in NSW’s Murray River.

That divide ends soon.

“I’d be very surprised if there’s not a lot of boats on the bay this weekend,” he said.

Daniel Andrews has given golf the all-clear.

Daniel Andrews has given golf the all-clear.Credit:Julian Kingma

Golf has been a lightning rod for discontent, as people such as football personality Sam Newman and Liberal MP Tim Smith argued that the sport was safer than many other activities.

Mr Andrews, a well-known golfer, addressed the controversy, saying “playing golf was not worth someone’s life”.

While courses will soon reopen, Mr Andrews warned there was still an expectation that people would follow social distancing measures.

“You might be able to play golf, but there won’t be rakes in the bunkers, people won’t be milling around the clubhouse and it will be shut,” he said.

On dry land but not for much longer.

On dry land but not for much longer.Credit:Chris Hopkins

Michael Alfonzetti can’t wait to hit the fairways and had already booked a tee time for the coming Saturday at Keilor Public Golf Course.

He described the restriction on his sport in strong terms: “It’s been traumatic,” he said.

“It’s something you do every week — week in, week out. Golf is like a drug, it’s addictive.”

Avid Golfers Michael Alfonzetti and Cam Ingrisciano have been playing golf together twice a week for over 20 years.

Avid Golfers Michael Alfonzetti and Cam Ingrisciano have been playing golf together twice a week for over 20 years.Credit:Simon Schluter

Gold prospector Matt Carkeek is also itching to get out the metal detector and go hunting for his next big find.

He said home schooling had been tough on stressed parents and getting a bit of recreation would offer some much-needed relaxation.

“I’ll be going next weekend, I reckon half the state will be out,” he said.

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Mr Carkeek said prospectors were frustrated about the lockdown, as you had to be more than 20 metres apart for the detecting equipment to work properly.

The loosening of social distancing restrictions couldn’t come soon enough, he said.

“When you crank up your detector, it gives you something to focus on. You haven’t got all the sideshows,” he said.

“You’re concentrating and listening to those sounds.”

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