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New Laws To Get Harness Racing Back On Track

18 August 2015

New laws introduced will make sweeping changes to the governance of Harness Racing Victoria, fulfilling an Andrews Labor Government commitment to modernise and improve the governance of the industry.

Minister for Racing Martin Pakula today introduced legislation into the Parliament that will establish new governance arrangements for the Board of Harness Racing Victoria, a Harness Racing Advisory Council and increased information sharing powers for the Racing Integrity Commissioner.

The Board will be re-shaped to ensure it has the necessary skills to grow the industry and assist harness racing to compete effectively in a challenging market. A spill and fill of the board will occur with current members being invited to re-apply.

The new Advisory Council will provide expert advice to the Board of Harness Racing Victoria and improve the lines of communication between the Board and the industry, addressing the concerns of industry participants that their views were not being heard.

Former Chief Executive Officer of the Victoria Racing Club and the Melbourne Racing Club, Dale Monteith, conducted an independent audit of the harness racing industry earlier this year, delivering his findings in April.

The Government has accepted all of the recommendations made in the Monteith Report.

The Racing Amendment Bill 2015 will also grant the Racing Integrity Commissioner the ability to disclose integrity-related information to Racing Analytical Services Limited, further strengthening industry integrity.

The Bill will also list a number of other bodies in the Racing Act 1958 to improve transparency of the RIC’s current information sharing arrangements.

Harness racing contributes around $421 million to the Victorian economy each year and supports almost 4,000 full-time jobs, mostly in regional areas.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Racing Martin Pakula

“The Andrews Labor Government is committed to implementing the recommendations made by Dale Monteith following his comprehensive review into harness racing in Victoria.”

“Harness racing is a major part of our racing industry. These new governance structures will help take it forward, supporting its jobs and growth.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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