BATHURST, Central West, NSW, Australia – A major police operation is underway in and around Bathurst, in the lead up to, and staging of Supercars Australia’s ultimate endurance event, the Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama.
The 2020 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 began Thursday with practise laps, with the main event taking place at 11.00am on Sunday.
Western Region Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie APM, was joined by Bathurst Mayor Bobby Bourke, and Supercars Australia Chief Operating Officer Shane Howard on Thursday to officially launch the police operation.
Traditionally the Bathurst 1000 has attracted more than 200,000 competitors, officials and spectators. However, this year’s attendance has been capped at 4,000 spectators because fo the Covid-19 pandemic.
General duties officers from Chifley Police District and across Western Region will be assisted by specialist police from the Public Order and Riot Squad (PORS), Operations Support Group (OSG), Dog Unit, PolAir, Licensing Police, Bicycle Unit, Youth Command (PCYC), Police Transport Command and Traffic and Highway Patrol Command throughout the operation.
Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said police will be out in force across the weekend and will not only focus on road safety and crowd behaviour but will ensure the enforcement of NSW Public Health Orders and COVID Safe plans such as business inspections, licensing arrangements and high visibility policing.
Spectators will be required to comply with this year’s COVID Safe plan which includes no spectator camping, ticketed seating and physical distancing.
“We’re working closely with NSW Health to ensure this year’s Bathurst 1000 is a safe event for everyone attending,” Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said Thursday.
“This year’s event is considerably different to what it has been in previous years, and while we encourage racegoers to enjoy the weekend, we also urge them to be responsible for their own actions and comply with orders in place for the community’s safety.”
Additional Traffic and Highway Patrol officers have been deployed dor the crackdown.
“Whilst traffic movement will be considerably down on previous years, we would still urge motorists to drive safely and make responsible decisions when getting behind the wheel,” Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said.
For all special event traffic information, including road closures, special event clearways and live traffic reports, visit Live Traffic.
Bathurst Mayor Bobby Bourke said the city was ready for another fantastic event of world class racing.
“Council is pleased the 2020 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 is able to proceed with limited crowd numbers and we welcome the teams and visitors to the city for the event and we look forward to a weekend of exciting racing,” Bourke said Thursday.
“We ask that anyone attending the race or visiting the city to follow the rules on gatherings and social distancing to help keep us all safe.”
“We all need to continue to work together and follow COVID-safe practices; and if you are unwell please stay at home and save your visit for another time,” the Bathurst mayor said.
Supercars Chief Operating Officer Shane Howard said the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 is one of Australia’s most popular sporting events and one of the pre-eminent motor races in the world.
“All eyes will be on Mount Panorama on Sunday afternoon,” Mr Howard said Thursday.
“Whilst we are disappointed that we can’t host a full crowd at this year’s event due to COVID restrictions, we’re delighted to see the bottom of the mountain filled with fans for this memorable weekend.”
“We thank the NSW Government, Emergency Services and Bathurst Regional Council for their ongoing support of the event and for working with us on a plan that will allow fans the opportunity to see a new king of the mountain and championship winner crowned on Sunday,” Howard added.
Further information about the event, including venue maps, track schedules and parking availability, can be found at Supercars.