The Victorian government has cancelled MotoGP and Formula 1 Grand Prix events scheduled for 24 October and 21 November respectively, blaming “the ongoing effects of the global pandemic” for the decision.

A media release from Martin Pakula, the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, confirmed that the “much-loved fixtures” would not take place this year, due to “a slower than forecast rollout of the Commonwealth vaccination program and subsequent caps to international traveller intake.”

Although the state government attempted to shift the blame on to the federal government, it was Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews who successfully demanded a reduction in international arrivals at National Cabinet last week, backed by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuck.

The media release claims that “the impact of the National Cabinet decision” meant that “assurances could not be provided” to the sports’ governing bodies this week that the events could proceed. The decision not to proceed “was mutually agreed with those bodies.”

“Planning will begin immediately for the return of the iconic international events in 2022.”