Melbourne bar owner arrested in WA after attending AFL grand final

A Melbourne bar owner and his friend have been taken into police custody in Western Australia after they allegedly illegally entered the isolated state to attend the AFL grand final.

Hayden Burbank, 49, who owns Chapel Street cocktail bar and restaurant Morris Jones, and Mark Babbage, 39, were arrested just after 10.30am today after WA police desperately called for help to hunt them down.

WA police called for public help to find the pair earlier this morning, releasing photos and descriptions of the men, saying anyone who sighted them was urged to call police immediately.

© WA Police Hayden Burbank

A media release also shared a photo of a black Audi the men were believed to have been travelling in in the south-west of the state yesterday afternoon.

It also revealed the pair were “suspected of failing to comply with a Direction (Emergency Management Act)”.

WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson this morning told the media police were “urgently looking to try and locate them”.

“We want to speak to them about their G2G approvals because we’ve got some concerns about potential breaches,” he said.

© WA Police Mark Babbage

Commissioner Dawson said police wanted to talk to the men about the information they provided to get approval to enter the state.

He revealed the men were believed to have flown from Melbourne to Darwin on September 14, then from Darwin to WA on September 22.

Since the AFL final on Saturday night, photos have emerged online of the pair allegedly celebrating with a Premiership player after the game.

© Nine Morris Jones owner Hayden Burbank (far left) and Mark Bubbage (far right) allegedly pictured after the AFL grand final.

Commissioner Chris Dawson previously said, “Travel to attend the AFL Finals series as a spectator is not considered a category for approval to enter WA from restricted locations”.

WA’s border is closed to the rest of Australia as the state fights to keep COVID-19 out.

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