Major Burnett event cancelled due to coronavirus outbreak
HOLD those engines folks, following the recent announcement of the first confirmed case of coronavirus in the South Burnett, the Kingaroy Speedway Committee has decided to cancel this weekend's event.
Kingaroy Speedway treasurer Tanya Barron said it was a difficult decision but ultimately the committee decided to do what they felt was most responsible with their patrons in mind.
"The committee was in discussion this afternoon for a few hours before we came to the ultimate decision to cancel Saturday night's Street Stock Stampede," she said.
"There is a chance we may be able to postpone some of these races to a later date, but who knows what the future holds for the rest of our season now.
"We may have more events to cancel or postpone in the months to come."
The decision comes are a real set back for the club, who also had to cancel their first meet for the season back in October 2019 due to bad weather.
"We're probably looking at a loss of $3000-4000 we can't get back on things like our food order and advertising expenses," Ms Barron said.
"But by cancelling it early on and making the announcement and decision this afternoon we've saved the club a great deal of money.
"In saying that though if the rest of the season is to be cancelled, which is on the cards at this point in time, Kingaroy Speedway could be in some serious trouble.
"I just hope our patrons can get behind us when we are back up and running again."
The announcement has received mixed responses from speedway fans on Facebook with one man commenting "You've got more chance (of) being hit by a wheel than catching corona (sic) virus," while another commenter said "(It's) Better to be safe then (sic) sorry".
The speedway committee's decision comes just hours after Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the announcement to ban mass gatherings of more than 500 people from Monday onwards.
The Australian Grand Prix has already been cancelled earlier today amid the growing fears over the coronavirus outbreak and now NRL and AFL games will be affected as part of this ban.
Another popular southeast Queensland event, the Western Downs' Big Skies music festival at Jimbour House in April has been cancelled as of this afternoon with organisers stating all ticket holders will be refunded in full, and refund arrangements will be made in due course.