Operation Bathurst 500 launched in leadup to championship event at Bathurst

Police have launched a high-visibility operation in the state’s Central Tablelands as race enthusiasts prepare for the 2021 Supercars Championship season launch.

Round one of the Repco Supercars Championship will commence at Mount Panorama, Bathurst, today (Friday 26 February 2021). The event consists of three days of Supercars and Support category racing, followed by two private ride days.

Western Region Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner Peter McKenna, was joined by Supercars Australia Chief Operating Officer Shane Howard and Bathurst Mayor, Councillor Bobby Bourke, to officially launch Operation Bathurst 500.

Traditionally, events of its kind at Bathurst have drawn in large crowds of competitors, officials and spectators. However, this year’s event will attract an expected crowd of 10,000 patrons across the three days of racing in accordance with the NSW Health COVID-19 Safety Plan for Major Recreational Facilities.

Despite the reduction in crowd numbers, police will conduct a proactive operation to ensure the compliance of Public Health Orders, while also targeting traffic offences and the deterrence of criminal activity at Mount Panorama and the Bathurst township.

General duties officers from Chifley Police District and across Western Region will be assisted by specialist police from the Operations Support Group (OSG), Dog Unit, Licensing Police, Bicycle Unit and Traffic and Highway Patrol Command throughout the operation.

Spectators will be required to comply with a strict COVID Safe plan which includes zoned spectator camping and corporate viewing, ticketed seating and physical distancing.

Acting Assistant Commissioner McKenna said police will be out in force throughout the operation 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 and licensing arrangements.

“We are working closely with NSW Health and event organisers to ensure the event is safe for everyone attending, as well as the local community,” Acting Assistant Commissioner McKenna said.

“This event has been designed with serious consideration of the current climate, and while we encourage everyone to enjoy the event, we also encourage them to be responsible for their own actions and adhere to the current Public Health Orders so that we can all enjoy a sense of normality.”

Motorists will also come under the watchful eye of police as additional Traffic and Highway Patrol officers are deployed to the area to ensure racegoers make it to and from their destination safely.

“While we won’t encounter the typical influx of traffic movement one would see at the Bathurst 1000, there will be an increase in traffic to the area and we urge those motorists to drive safely and make responsible decisions when behind the wheel,” Acting Assistant Commissioner McKenna said.

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