ALL boards within the Queensland Racing Industry have been stood down by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk following on from the condemning report which was handed down by Alan MacSporran QC on Monday.
The report detailed the findings of the Queensland Greyhound Racing Industry Commission of Inquiry, which was established as a result of the live-baiting scandal.
The report stated that Racing Queensland had failed in its role to ensure integrity and animal welfare standards within the greyhound industry, highlighting that the current model of self-regulation had proven to be inadequate.
MacSporran said in the report that it would be ‘naive in the extreme’ to assume that live baiting was not wide spread, with many participants at least knowing about it and turning a blind eye.
“The practice of live baiting could not be engaged in without the acquiescence of many, who although not directly involved, chose to ignore the cruelty and turned a blind eye,” the Commissioner said.
“This must have encouraged those directly involved that they could continue with impunity.
“This culture must change if public confidence is to be restored.”
As a result, CEO of Racing Queensland Darren Condon has been stood down and given five days to show cause as to why he shouldn’t be sacked from the top job.
The consultancy KPMG will be appointed to oversee the implementation of the 15 recommendations put forward in MacSporran’s report.
Also being axed is the Queensland All Codes Racing Industry Board, the Queensland Greyhound Racing Board, the Queensland Harness Board and the Queensland Thoroughbred Racing Board.
The Queensland Premier said that change had to come from the very top in the racing industry.
“As Mr McSporran said yesterday, it is clear that Racing Queensland has failed, and that started with the boards,” Palaszczuk said
“Today we are starting a clean slate. We have appointed Mr Ian Hall from KPMG to advise on implementation of interim administrative arrangements and to ensure effective ongoing management of Racing Queensland.
“All Queenslanders want a racing industry that is based on integrity and proper animal welfare, not one that is characterised by cruelty, dishonesty and, at best, dubious regulation and an environment in which there is a failure of simple compliance measures.”
The recommendations put forward in Monday’s report include the establishment of a new statutory authority to ensure animal welfare and integrity is maintained, to be operated independently of Racing Queensland.
The report also called for tighter animal welfare measures, including increased tracking throughout a greyhounds life cycle to target the high wastage numbers within the sport.