Racing Victoria has written to the Warrnambool City Council to allay fears and explain its coronavirus protocols and ability to stage a two-day carnival in the area.
The council has approached the Victorian government to cancel next month’s proposed race meetings on May 5 and 6.
But RV says the strict biosecurity measures in place to conduct meetings elsewhere in the state would be in place.
“These will be the same biosecurity protocols, together with further recent enhancements, that were in place for the successful conduct of the Warrnambool race meeting on Friday, 27 March without incident,” RV said in a statement.
“Having not been presented with the opportunity to discuss this matter with councillors prior to their reported decision we look forward to the opportunity to provide them with a detailed overview of the strict measures that we have in place.
“RV and the Warrnambool Racing Club share the reported views of the WCC that we don’t want people staying in Warrnambool at the time of these race meetings, not only for the health of the local community but for that of industry participants and staff.
“It is for this very reason that the event was completely restructured by RV and WRC last week so there are different groups of participants and essential staff attending each race meeting, thus meaning that they don’t have to stay locally nor interact with the local community.
“There will be no industry staff staying in Warrnambool and RV and the WRC are telling any participants that don’t live locally to drive to the racecourse and back home on the same day and not stay locally. This is as important for their health and ongoing livelihoods as it is for that of the local community.”
Like all other meetings over the past few weeks, the public will not be admitted to the races with only a core group of essential personnel present.
RV says racing supports the equivalent of 25,000 full-time jobs in Victoria and the continuation of racing and training in the state is also vital for the welfare of nearly 10,000 racehorses who require daily exercise and essential care and nutrition every day.
“Thoroughbred racing contributes $75 million annually to the Warrnambool and South West economy, an area which boasts close to 4500 thoroughbred racing participants,” RV said.
“It is a region that is steeped in racing tradition and one that will continue to be for years to come.”
The May carnival is usually held over three days and attracts thousands of visitors to the area.