Greyhound Racing and Harness Racing in NSW will again be overseen by their own individual controlling bodies, under reforms to the racing industry.
But in a setback for transparency and racing integrity, gone also is the approach to racing of separating the regulatory bodies from the commercial and marketing bodies.
New South Wales Racing Minister Kevin Greene says that following two reviews into the industry, the Greyhound and Harness Racing Regulatory Authority will be disbanded.
Single controlling bodies for each of the greyhound and harness racing codes will be established to oversee both commercial and regulatory responsibilities.
A number of recommendations from the Five Year Review of the Greyhound Racing Act 2002 and Harness Racing Act 2002, and Malcolm Scott's Independent Review of the Regulatory Oversight of the NSW Racing Industry will be supported, including :
- The establishment of a single controlling body for each of the greyhound and harness racing codes with both commercial and regulatory responsibilities
- Disbanding the Greyhound and Harness Racing Regulatory Authority and giving functions, powers, rights and liabilities to each controlling body
- Introducing a new Board structure for Greyhound Racing NSW and Harness Racing NSW
- Subject to further consultation the Minister will have the power to approve a shared arrangement between the thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing codes in respect to stewards, licensing or registration functions
- Restructuring the Greyhound Racing Industry Participants Advisory Committee and the Harness Racing Industry Participants Advisory Committee on a similar basis to the Racing Industry Consultation Group for thoroughbred racing
- Strengthening consultation between the controlling bodies and industry participants including corporate planning and reporting
- Introducing a new offence for unauthorised persons invading racecourses, with a maximum penalty of $11,000 and or a period of imprisonment
- Merging the Racing Appeals Tribunal and the Greyhound and Harness Appeals Tribunal into a single entity with existing functions and powers
- Establishing a Probity Auditor regime (or similar function) to oversight regulatory performance and investigate complaints against racing officials
Mr Greene said the changes will allow the greyhound and harness racing codes to manage their business affairs free from Government interference.
Mr Greene says a transitional working party will assist staff and minimise disruption.
“The racing industry is facing growing challenges with increasing competition, rapidly developing technology and the need for modern governance and business standards,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.
Mr Green said depending on the legislation passing parliament, he expected the new arrangements would start in the middle of this year.