Coronavirus Victoria: Daniel Andrews says Cox Plate backflip prompted by public backlash, not health concerns

By: Melissa Davey Wednesday 21 October 202

The Victorian premier admits he agreed with the decision to hold the racing carnival despite Melbourne’s strict Covid restrictions

Daniel Andrews has acknowledged he agreed with the decision to allow up to 1,250 people on Moonee Valley racecourse for the Cox Plate carnival, and said the event was cancelled not because of public health concerns but because it was unpopular with the public.

The announcement that the Cox Plate would go ahead came in a media release issued late on Tuesday afternoon, and prompted a swift backlash. Despite being questioned repeatedly in recent weeks about what might reopen and when, the premier had never said that the Cox Plate was under consideration or that meetings were occurring with racing stakeholders.

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