Legislation To Restructure Tasmanian Racing Introduced

Further to our September story regarding the abolition of the the racing code councils in Tasmania, legislation to massively restructure the industry was yesterday introduced in to the Tasmanian Parliament.

The proposed changes would remove the management of racing operations from Tote, leaving it solely responsible for betting.

Tasmania’s three racing codes – harness, thoroughbred and greyhound racing – would have their boards abolished and all powers transferred to a new board and racing director.

Racing Minister Michael Aird said the legislation would give the industry greater control over its future.

“The seven-member Tasmanian Racing Board will allow the racing industry to take control of its own destiny and it will be an independent, skill- based commercial board,” Mr Aird said.

“It will develop a vision and plan to sell Tasmanian racing to new and emerging markets and make decisions in the best interests of the entire industry.”

However, given the narrow mindedness that we at Australian Racing Greyhound have so far witnessed coming out of Tasmania, anyone would have to be fairly sceptical such radical change was within the scope any of the people currently in charge at Racing Servcies Tasmania..

For instance, how is it that any new board will “sell Tasmanian racing to new and emerging markets” when they do little to promote themselves or their product effectively; as illustrated by their ridiculous insistence that we do not publish Tasmanian Greyhound Racing Fields on our website.

The new Tasmanian Racing Board is also currently devoid of any funding, but despite this Mr Aird said a long-term funding model would be developed with the industry and Tote to assess future capital requirements.

Tasmanian Thoroughbred Racing Council director Rod Thirkell-Johnston cautiously welcomed the proposal.

He said change was needed, but what the Government’s proposal included was unknown to the industry.

“The current system of having the wager and racing operations branches under the same body was flawed from the start,” Mr Thirkell-Johnston said.

“The separations of power was imminent.”

He said the Government had consulted the industry before proposing the legislation.

“We were consulted but we still don’t know the specifics, so we will be looking at the legislation very closely,” Mr Thirkell- Johnston said.

The new Tasmanian Racing Board will comprise a minister- appointed director, representatives of the three codes, and three independent members.

Opposition racing spokesman Jeremy Rockliff said the industry needed reform.

“We don’t want an industry that is swish and shiny at the top level and run down at a grassroots level,” he said.