Victorian Racing Minister Martin Pakula won’t follow Queensland system   Leave a comment

Victorian Racing Minister Martin Pakula won’t follow Queensland system

Racing Minister Martin Pakula is pushing for an independent racing commission in Victoria

Racing Minister Martin Pakula is pushing for an independent racing commission in Victoria. Picture: Jason SammonSource: News Corp Australia

RACING Minister Martin ­Pakula does not believe this week’s chaos in Queensland racing, where 10 board members across three codes were sacked by the Premier, will jeopardise governance plans for Victoria.

An independent inquiry into “vile’’ practices in Queensland greyhounds prompted the sacking not just of the greyhound racing board but also the thoroughbred and harness boards that exist under the Racing Queensland umbrella.

Queensland racing is now being run by an administrator, on the week of its greatest race, Saturday’s $2 million Stradbroke Handicap.

There was immediate backlash, with claims the faults of those in charge of greyhounds took out the other two blameless codes with them.

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Sacked chairman Kevin Dixon said greyhound racing’s “endemic’’ problems were not “commenced, countenanced or condoned by Racing Queensland, its management or board in any way”.

Sacked Queensland Racing chairman Kevin Dixon. Picture: Claudia Baxter

Sacked Queensland Racing chairman Kevin Dixon. Picture: Claudia Baxter Source: News Corp Australia

There was criticism of the overarching system in Queensland — Pakula wants a similar model — where funds were misdirected, away from integrity and into prizemoney.

Alan MacSporran, QC, who conducted the independent ­inquiry into live baiting and other dubious practices in greyhound racing, advised Racing Queensland be stripped of regulatory powers across three codes.

MacSporran has recommended the codes continue under one umbrella but comprise boards of four independent directors and one from each code.

Pakula has pushed for an independent racing commission, saying the existing boards among the three racing codes in Victoria suffered from ­potential conflict of interest. He and independent racing commissioner Sal Perna support an integrity hub across all three codes.

Pakula insisted the current, and possibly future, governance structure here would not be the same as the one that has imploded in Queensland.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Alan MacSporran, QC, on Tuesday. Picture: Ja

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Alan MacSporran, QC, on Tuesday. Picture: Jack Tran Source: News Corp Australia

“While events in Queensland are of interest to those ­involved in Victorian racing — myself included — we have a very different structure in ­Victoria,’’ he said. “I think it demonstrates that every governance model has its own unique challenges.’’

Asked about the push away from a commission-style governance structure in NSW, Pakula said: “But there is always going to be a cohort that resists any kind of change.’’

While insisting Victoria would not follow the same model as Queensland, Pakula said he had “said consistently that racing needs a more modern governance structure.’’

“It’s inevitable that integrity across the three codes will have greater independence. That doesn’t necessitate a Queensland style Racing Commission but I’m not in the business of ruling options out at this stage.’’

Pakula said Perna’s impending report into the state of Victorian greyhound racing, which will be tabled in parliament next week, and the results of the ongoing cobalt investigation, would make his position on future governance more clear.

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Posted June 4, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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