The three independent participant representative bodies across the harness and greyhound racing industries joined together today in their call for NSW Gaming and Racing Minister Graham West to take decisive and immediate action following the release of an Auditor-General performance audit of the Greyhound & Harness Racing Regulatory Authority (GHRRA).
“We are uncompromising in our view that the GHRRA must now be abolished and be replaced by a single board structure in each code that is independent.” said Roy White, President of the RGPA.
“The Auditor-General’s Report and last year’s Internal Audit Bureau Report detail a staggering level of mismanagement and financial irresponsibility on the part of the GHRRA. The Authority’s conduct is simply unsatisfactory and unforgivable” said Mr. White.
“The racing participant’s costs continue to rise and our Industry’s prizemoney remains relatively stagnant. The limited wagering income received by the racing industry in NSW is being eroded by two major factors, duplication of administration and the relatively stagnant prizemoney” said Mr. White.
The Auditor-General found that the GHRRA had achieved savings of $850,000 but instead of returning these to the racing industries as the State Government had committed them to doing chose to use these savings for its own priorities without consulting the racing industry.
Wally Mann, Spokesman for the UHRA, supported the comments of Roy White and stated that the vast majority of participants had now lost all confidence in the ability of the GHRRA to manage its own affairs let alone those of the racing industry.
Mr. Mann stated the UHRA is in favor of a single Board, independent of interference and with Board members to be industry representatives.
United Harness Racing Association (UHRA)
Registered Greyhound Participants Association (RGPA)
Metropolitan & Country Dog Trainers & Handlers Association (MCDTHA)
Bob Whitelaw, President of the MCDTHA, described the Authority’s project management of the Bankstown building refurbishment as scandalous.
“It is quite unbelievable that a building refurbishment could run $807,000 over the initial estimates and even more unbelievable that they could use some $267,000 in greyhound racing industry money to meet the funding shortfall and at no point consult the industry about this” said Mr. Whitelaw.
The three association’s united view dismissed the GHRRA media release attempting to justify and explain the actions of the Authority which did not provide an adequate explanation for the key failings of the Authority and called on Minister Graham West MP to ensure that the savings achieved were immediately returned to the racing industry.
“Report after report has shown the GHRRA has failed to meet the industry expectations of the amalgamation, has failed to conduct themselves in a transparent way and are simply unable to manage their own financial affairs” said Mr. Whitelaw.
“Now is the time for Graham West to stand up and be counted. He did the right thing by ordering the two audit reports, now he must follow through. We all know what has to be done” Mr. Whitelaw said.