After a brain fade in announcing – then reversing – a decision that crowds could attend Cox Plate day despite businesses remaining closed, the time has come for the Andrews Labor Government to outline a pathway forward for the industry.
Shadow Racing Minister, Tim Bull, said there was still no clear timeline for the racing industry to plan to return crowds to the track, despite reports of further easing of restrictions next week and two weeks of no new cases.
“The Andrews Government’s so called road map has ‘no change’ listed for the racing industry,” Mr Bull said.
“It’s now time to announce timelines for owners, club members and crowds to be able to return to the track, particularly in country areas where we have had no COVID cases for months and Country Cup meetings are approaching.
“The Minister has gone from one extreme to the other – first it was a knee jerk and ill-advised decision to have people at the Cox Plate in Melbourne at a time of strict lockdown, to now going completely silent on the entire industry.
“The other element he needs to address is that with country race clubs also doubling as local entertainment venues that host wedding receptions, birthdays and various other functions, they need to know what rules are being enforced on their operations.
“Country clubs have contacted me this week saying they can’t take booking enquiries as there is no defined pathway from the Government and it’s negatively impacting their viability.
“It’s time the Racing Minister got his mind back on racing and provided a safe way to COVID normal for our local clubs.”