COVID-19 Update - 9 September
To our motorsport community,
I hope that you, your family and friends are all staying healthy during what has been a very challenging year for all of us.
It’s no secret that every state in Australia faces a vastly different way of life and set of restrictions as part of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Grassroots motorsport is certainly showing its strengths during this time, with clubs across most of the country hosting a number of wonderful and safe events, in line with our well-publicised Return To Race strategy. This safety plan has been endorsed by all levels of government and allowed the sport to continue, where it is safe to do so.
Today, I thought I would provide you with a brief state-by-state update on how motorsport is proceeding around Australia, and our plans to ramp up motorsport events in the months ahead as we all work towards a ‘new normal’.
New South Wales
Recently, the NSW Chief Health Officer made recommendations on the status of state and national level events, advising that they should not take place for a six week period to limit travel between regions and further stop the spread of COVID-19.
After significant consultation with both the NSW Department of Health and the Office of Sport, some events continue to be permitted by Motorsport Australia, where only local competitors and officials may attend in line with the recommendations from the NSW Government and Chief Health Officer.
We are aware of some events proceeding in NSW, in direct contravention of these recommendations. Motorsport Australia considers these events to represent an unnecessary risk to the community and the state. We believe that legal and insurance risks may arise for any event organiser choosing to host an event against the advice of the Chief Health Officer. As a responsible, government supported sanctioning body, we simply cannot and will not ignore the Government’s advice.
Importantly, in our regular dialogue with the NSW Government, we have been advised that this six week period is unlikely to extend beyond the end of September, meaning that events should return in NSW from October.
We will continue to provide regular updates on our website’s COVID-19 Resource Centre.
Motorsport events continue to be held across the nation’s capital in line with our Return To Race strategy.
The NSW recommendations may impact some ACT events, given the need for competitors or officials to travel across NSW to take part. Anyone from outside the ACT wishing to compete in events should speak with event organisers or Motorsport Australia to determine if they can attend.
Understandably, no motorsport can take place anywhere in Victoria at the current time given the COVID-19 restrictions that apply across the state.
The recent State Government ‘Road Map’ provides us with some hope that the sport may return in the near future, initially in regional areas, before a full state-wide return later this year. We are doing our best to ensure that when it is safe to do so, motorsport is in a position to return immediately and meet any government restrictions, in line with Return To Race.
Also, as the ongoing restrictions in Victoria will continue for a number of weeks, we are considering what can be done to assist our Victorian members. We expect to be able to advise of any plans in the next week or so and will contact you directly via email.
Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia and Northern Territory
Many motorsport events are now running regularly in these states and territories, including state championships and series.
Our Return To Race document is also ensuring motorsport continues to operate safely and responsibly in these regions, with Motorsport Australia staff on hand, ready to assist our clubs and event organisers in planning future events.
Our full state-by-state breakdown, including specific government requirements around further documentation such as COVID Safe Plans, can be found in our regularly updated COVID-19 Resource Centre.
We are working hard to ensure a strong finish to the year, with a dedicated permits and membership team on hand to guide you through planning your event – or ready to assist competitors or officials with any advice or information they require about attending events.
If you have any urgent queries, please email our membership team directly via firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond as soon as possible. The membership hotline remains open by phoning 1300 883 959. Please note, with our head office located in Victoria and staff working from home, email is the best way to reach us for any urgent queries.
I would like to take this time to thank each and every one of you – from competitors and officials, to event organisers, venue managers and everyone in between – your support has been exceptional and we are proud of the way the motorsport community has rallied together during one of the most challenging periods of our generation.
We are confident that more and more motorsport will continue to be held in the latter part of 2020 and early in 2021. We look forward to seeing you all at events soon.
Warm regards and stay safe,
Motorsport Australia CEO