Minister for Racing Denis Napthine today welcomed the decision by the independent Racing Integrity Commissioner to conduct an Own Motion Inquiry into recent race fixing allegations.
Dr Napthine said that given broader police investigations had uncovered an allegation of race fixing, an inquiry into integrity issues across all three racing codes by the Racing Integrity Commissioner was timely.
"The Victorian Coalition Government welcomes this assertive and positive move from the Racing Integrity Commissioner," Dr Napthine said.
"Victoria has long been recognised as a world leader in protecting the integrity of racing and it is vital we maintain this status.
"Every year in Victoria, across all three racing codes, many thousands of races are conducted involving many thousands of participants who are honest people who act with integrity and contribute to the health of the industry.
"However, when allegations such as that involving a particular race at Cranbourne last year arise, it is appropriate that the Commissioner conducts a wide-ranging inquiry to contribute to ensuring Victorian racing continues to be held in such high regard," Dr Napthine said.
Dr Napthine said the independent office of the Victorian Racing Integrity Commissioner was established to address matters of integrity in races upon the recommendation of a judicial inquiry.
"We are the only state with an independent Racing Integrity Commissioner who has significant powers to investigate any integrity matters in racing and today's announcement indicates the value of this position," Dr Napthine said.
"The Coalition Government, in co-operation with Victorian racing authorities, is absolutely committed to racing integrity. This includes providing $4 million to racing over four years to further enhance its drug testing regime.
"The Coalition Government is ready and willing to receive advice from police, racing authorities and the independent Racing Integrity Commissioner on how integrity measures can be further strengthened," Dr Napthine said.