Popular comedian Dave Hughes has weighed on the Cox Plate debacle after the state government backflipped on a decision to allow a crowd at Saturday’s race.
Racing Minister Martin Pakula reversed the decision just hours after it was announced.
It followed an intense reaction from the community over an alleged double standard where hundreds would have been able to gather at the Moonee Valley Racing Club despite Melburnians living under strict stay-at-home directions.
Hughesy commended officials on making the right decision in the end but had previously taken aim at Premier Daniel Andrews over the state government’s original decision.
Decision on owners & connections attending Moonee Valley racetrack this weekend has been reversed. Vic Govt have listened to community. Fair play to them. @DanielAndrewsMP @MartinPakulaMP.
Hey @DanielAndrewsMP you probably can’t remember who made ‘Horse owner crews can party at Melb race track this weekend’ decision but as Covid now appears less of a concern for you, maybe also ‘Two families can enjoy @afl grand final this Saturday together’?
On Tuesday night Mr Pakula apologised and reversed the decision.
“Tonight I’ve spoken to the Moonee Valley Racing Club and the decision’s been reversed. Owners won’t return to the racetrack until we reach the next stage of the easing of restrictions. I apologise for any upset that has been caused,” he said.
“The decision to allow some owners on course for the 100th Cox Plate was motivated only by respect for the occasion & a desire to mark a small step on the path to reopening. It was a mistake, given that other restrictions remain in place, and we’ve heard the community feedback.”
The move has seemingly dashed the hopes of racegoers keen to attend the upcoming Melbourne Cup, although no deal has been reached for crowds to attend the famous race at Flemington on November 3.
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