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Revised Extreme Weather Policy to drive risk-based decisions

Greater flexibility and consultation will drive Harness Racing Victoria’s decision making during extreme weather conditions after a review of HRV’s Extreme Weather Policy.

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The policy guides administrators and club officials when deciding whether to proceed with meetings when the state is experiencing or is threatened by bushfires, floods or other extreme weather events.

Harness Racing Victorian General Manager of Integrity Rhys Harrison said the policy was "about being adaptable and looking at situations from a risk-based lens".

"We conducted a review of the previous policy and identified that its strong framework created difficulty as to what we could and couldn't do as an organisation," Harrison said.

"Working with the Victorian Trainers and Drivers Association and Trots Clubs Victoria, we reviewed the policy, looked at what other codes were doing in that space and came back with a common-sense model that gives us an environment to make risk-based decisions."

Under the new policy, when a meeting is identified as taking place in an area of extreme weather, like a catastrophic fire rating, relevant parties – including the host clubs and representatives from HRV's racing and integrity teams – will consider the data risks.

"We will use State Government data around bushfire management and, after considering those risks and models, we will make a decision as to whether a meeting should go ahead or whether it should be postponed or cancelled," Harrison said.

"At all times in these circumstances, participants will have the opportunity to scratch penalty-free."