Racing Queensland will introduce a new ‘Greater Western’ thoroughbred region as part of its COVID-19 biosecurity measures from this weekend.
Having implemented designated racing regions late last month, with the support and advice of Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young, Greater Western will be established to restrict movement from the Queensland coast to remote communities, with non-TAB meetings to be programmed to support the move.
The re-configured racing regions will be implemented from 11.59pm on Saturday, April 25 and include:
- Metro North (Brisbane and Sunshine Coast);
- Metro South West (Gold Coast, Ipswich and Toowoomba);
- South East Regional;
- Central Coast;
- North Coast; and
- Greater Western.
Click here to view the latest designated racing regions for Queensland thoroughbreds.
Having previously permitted jockeys to race across two non-metropolitan zones, they will now be restricted to their designated racing region as is the case for all other licensed participants including trainers and stable staff.
Any licensed participant wanting to re-locate to an alternate racing region will be required to undertake a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period.
The establishment of a Greater Western region is also consistent with the requirements for all Queensland Government workers travelling to that area.
RQ CEO Brendan Parnell said the organisation was constantly reviewing its COVID-19 protocols and has established Greater Western as a designated racing region as a further precautionary measure.
Subject to ongoing Government and health advice, there will be no further changes to designated racing regions before a further review on May 1.
“The Queensland racing industry has moved swiftly and efficiently to implement a range of biosecurity measures including patron-free meetings and designated racing regions,” Mr Parnell said.
“By establishing Greater Western, we’re able to further isolate participant movement across the state.
“This aligns with the Queensland Government’s latest protocols relating to the region and to ensure outback communities are being quarantined from the coast.
“It will also allow RQ to programme a non-TAB calendar which will provide additional economic and animal welfare benefits.
“On an annual basis, the Queensland outback generates more than $22 million in economic contribution and supports more than 2700 participants.”
In order to implement the new designated racing regions, the scheduled meeting at Emerald on April 25 will be postponed to May 2, whilst the Roma meeting on Saturday, May 2 will be replaced by a Longreach meeting on Sunday, May 3.
Further programming details will be released in the near future.
Click here to stay up to date with the latest COVID-19 advice from Racing Queensland.