Birdsville Races. Picture: Salty Dingo
Birdsville Races. Picture: Salty Dingo

Western punters may still make it to Birdsville 2020

COUNTRY racing fans could still have an event to look forward to this year, provided all continue to flatten the coronavirus curve.

Birdsville Race Clubs has confirmed the landmark annual race meet may still to go ahead at this stage, refusing to cancel the September event outright.

Vice president of the Birdsville Race Club Gary Brook said the races are not confirmed to be cancelled, because there is still a chance COVID-19 rules could be eased by later this year.

“We don’t have blinkers on,” he said

“We appreciate that there’s still a lot of hoops to jump through – but with infection rates starting to hit zero in some states, and Australia’s international borders closed, we remain hopeful that we will be on a winner and able to run the Birdsville Races in 2020.

“We will absolutely follow Government and local community guidelines, and will do nothing that may endanger those who live in the region.

“But, if sufficient notice is given that it’s safe to go ahead, and large gatherings and travel is are permitted, we hope to hold the event.”

In a time when all small and large community gatherings are being postponed or called off, Mr Brook said it was important to have a positive outlook.

“It’s nice to hang onto that hope both for us, racing participants and the small towns and tourism operators who rely on outback tourism to stay afloat.

“We will give ourselves every opportunity and the last thing we want to do is jump too early.”

Of the events for punters en route to Birdsville, Quilpie’s Kangaranga Do street party may also go ahead.

Organiser Ann Lewis told the Western Times they would take their lead from the race club when deciding the fate of this year’s event.

Charleville Western Times

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