Region's biggest events postponed to stop spread of COVID-19

Postponed: The Northam Motorsport and Toodyay Music festivals are two major Wheatbelt events that have been impacted by COVID-19. Photos: Eliza Wynn.
Postponed: The Northam Motorsport and Toodyay Music festivals are two major Wheatbelt events that have been impacted by COVID-19. Photos: Eliza Wynn.

Some of the region's biggest drawcard events and longest serving businesses continue to face uncertain times with federal government restrictions on gatherings tightening each day.

The Northam Motorsport Festival and Toodyay Music Festival were just two of many events around the Wheatbelt that were forced to postpone to contain the threat of COVID-19.

In an announcement on Sunday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison advised that the nation's clubs, pubs and restaurants would be ordered to close from midday Monday.

Churches, casinos, cinemas, gyms, indoor spots venues and entertainment venues were also closed, along with the licensed parts of hotels. Restaurants and cafes can still serve takeaway and do home delivery, but sit-down meals were banned.

Mr Morrison said the measures were "stage 1" measures and would be reviewed each month. But people should expect them to be in place for six months.

The WA state government also announced that borders would be closed to all travellers from Tuesday. Travellers arriving in WA now have to self-isolate for 14 days.

Just two weeks out from one of the town's biggest weekends, Northam Motorsport Festival organisers said they hoped to postpone the event to later in the year.

In a statement, the Vintage Sports Car Club of WA said the future of the event was dependent on government advice about public events.

"Our club understands the disappointment and inconvenience this will cause to the public, competitors and our event officials and the Northam business community who were planning to be part of a great event," they said.

"Of particular disappointment is the funding the various Northam community groups will now not receive because of this situation."

It would have seen the return of the Mount Ommanney Hill Climb, an event that was cancelled last year because of low entrant numbers. The motorsport festival was also going to have a new look, moving all activities to Fitzgerald Street in an effort to attract more foot traffic to local businesses.

It will be the second consecutive year that the Toodyay Music Festival will be postponed for 12 months.