Greyhound Racing SA (GRSA) has announced two new bodies to support its delivery of integrity outcomes and introduce a greater level of independence to its inquiry framework, the Integrity and Welfare Committee (IWC) and the Integrity Hearings Panel (IHP). The benefit of these changes was identified within the context of a report from consulting firm McGrath Nicol.
McGrath Nicol Advisory obtained significant experience in reviewing integrity systems within the Australian racing industry, including extensive work undertaken on behalf of the Victorian Racing Integrity Commissioner and Racing Queensland before undertaking the GRSA commission.
One of the major recommendations arising from the McGrath Nicol report related to the establishment of an independent committee reporting to the Board on all integrity-related aspects of the GRSA operation, which would include representation independent of the Board and GRSA. The primary purpose of that body would be to provide oversight of the GRSA integrity and welfare functions and to advise and make recommendations to the GRSA Board on such matters.
Upon further reflection by the Board, that Committee’s scope was expanded to include consideration of the welfare-related aspects of the operation noting that the two often correlate and that they are both so critical to the health of the sport. That body, which has been named the Integrity and Welfare Committee (IWC), comprises two independent members Tim McGrath and Tanya Johnston and a Director of the Board, with that inaugural appointment being Grahame Marshall.
Tim McGrath has been appointed as the first Chairman of the new body.Tim McGrath is a legal practitioner specialising in criminal law. He is the principal of McGrath Lawyers and was admitted to practice as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court in South Australia in 2006. Tim is also the holder of a Bachelor of Business, Bachelor of Laws and Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice.
Tanya Johnston is a CPA and holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Master’sDegrees in both Finance and Risk Management. She is also a graduate member of the AICD and has considerable experience in the thoroughbred racing and breeding industries.
A third independent member will join Tim and Tanya to separately form the Integrity Hearings Panel (IHP), a new body which will hear inquiries deemed to be more serious either by their nature or impact. In the first instance that third member will be Graham Loch, a former Chief Steward of TRSA, Macau Jockey Club and HRNSW, now retired.
The Chairman of GRSA, Grantley Stevens, observed that “these new panels are a clear demonstration of GRSA’s commitment to invest in high level integrity and welfare-related outcomes. We believe that the people we have recruited to these bodies will bring new skills and independence to our existing frameworks to the benefit of the sport as a whole.”
The IWC has conducted preliminary meetings and will continue to meet on a quarterly basis. The IHP has just been formed and will start to take on an initial inquiry caseload in the weeks immediately ahead.