Bathurst 1000: Supercars presents its plans for a COVID-safe event

Fans, campers to know next week how many will be allowed at Bathurst 1000

RACING fans should know next week how many spectators and campers, if any, will be allowed on Mount Panorama for next month's Bathurst 1000.

Supercars officials presented their plans for a COVID-safe event to key stakeholders including NSW Police, Bathurst Regional Council and NSW Health on Thursday.

That plan has now been taken to the NSW Government for final approval.

Mayor Bobby Bourke could not discuss the finer details of the plan but said if the Bathurst 1000 goes ahead it would look very different to previous years.

The mayor also confirmed a request from Supercars to waive hire fees for the Mount Panorama circuit would be discussed by councillors during the confidential part of their monthly meeting on Wednesday night.

"We've been asked to reduce the fees that are usually charged but it's not a full waiver," Cr Bourke said.

"We need to recognise the impact COVID-19 has had on Supercars."

Cr Bourke remains hopeful the Bathurst 1000 will go ahead in some form.

He accepted there were people in town who were concerned by the prospect of the race going ahead during a pandemic but said we could not let Bathurst "die".

"Some will knock it, some will support it, but that's democracy," Cr Bourke said.

"Regional NSW is doing well with regards to COVID-19 and we haven't had an active case here for more than four months.

"Even if the race goes ahead then there will be nothing like the 150,000-200,000 crowds we've been used to seeing.

"That will have a big impact, council will lose on it and local business will lose on it, but it's just something we have to accept through COVID-19 and then look forward to a better year next year."

Cr Bourke said Supercars had done a "helluva lot of work" on its COVID-19 plan and he hoped it would be accepted by the NSW Government and health officials.

Bathurst MP Paul Toole said council had clearly indicated to the government that it wanted the race to go ahead this year.

"NSW Health and NSW Police have been in discussions about how best to provide a safe event and I would expect those details to be released in coming days," he said.

"I would expect that to look at issues around camping and spectator numbers."

The Bathurst 1000 is scheduled for October 15-18 and will double as the Supercars finale this year.