Rapid testing key to get Spring Carnival off and racing

Victoria’s Spring Racing Carnival needs a clear plan forward to get crowds back trackside, as the state races to reach vaccination targets later this month.

Moonee Valley Racing Club has today called for the Andrews Labor Government to put measures in place to ensure a COVID-safe Cox Plate can go ahead on October 23 with a crowd of up to 5000.

Shadow Minister for Racing Tim Bull said he strongly supported the push and urged the Victorian Government to finally implement rapid testing for major events.

“We have been calling for rapid testing to be deployed for months now in a range of circumstances where you get a result back in 15 minutes with upwards of 95 per cent accuracy. The carnival is the perfect events program to put this in place,” Mr Bull said.

“But just weeks out from Australia’s premiere racing carnival, the Andrews Labor Government is silent with no plan for limited crowds on course.

“As we move closer to reaching vaccination targets, Daniel Andrews must give us a plan that employs extra measures, like rapid testing, to make sure we can get some crowds back to Victoria’s upcoming major racing events.

“The Spring Carnival started yesterday with the running of the Group Two Feehan Stakes and we have the Caulfield Cup in six weeks, Cox Plate in seven weeks and then the Melbourne Cup Carnival in eight weeks.

“Daniel Andrews is going for the trifecta – having lost the AFL Grand Final, Grand Prix and a host of other events.

“Victoria’s major events and tourism have taken a big whack as a result of Labor’s COVID shutdowns, we need a plan to get them back on track.

“Racecourses, by their nature, have lots of room and can very safely cater for restricted crowds spread out over the massive on-course areas, but this dithering Labor Government seems obsessed with telling us what we cannot do, rather than being proactive.”

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