The Victorian Coalition Government welcomes the release of the report by the Racing Integrity Commissioner relating to his Own Motion Inquiry into Race Fixing, Minister for Racing Denis Napthine said today.
“We believe that integrity must be first and foremost for the Victorian racing industry. Those investing and betting on Victorian racing must have confidence that they are getting a fair deal for their dollar,” Dr Napthine said.
The Racing Integrity Commissioner has stated in his report that “…race fixing is not a systemic issue in Victoria”. This is an important finding for the State’s $2 billion racing industry and for those that bet on Victorian races.
“Victoria has the very best racing in Australia if not the world and we have good racing integrity measures. However, the Coalition Government is not satisfied in just having adequate racing integrity measures. We want to make sure we also have the very best integrity measures,” Dr Napthine said.
The Coalition Government has invested $4 million in improving drug testing procedures in racing animals, helped upgrade stewards’ racecourse facilities, and recently asked the Racing Integrity Commissioner to conduct a review of Racing Victoria’s handling of the Damien Oliver betting inquiry.
“I know the three racing codes – thoroughbreds, harness and greyhounds – are similarly dedicated to continually enhancing racing integrity,” Dr Napthine said.
“That is why the Coalition Government welcomes and accepts in principle the eleven recommendations contained in the Commissioner’s report.”
“We will now work proactively with relevant law enforcement agencies, the Federal Government, the three racing codes, and other racing stakeholders to further enhance racing integrity in Victoria,” Dr Napthine said.
Recommendation 11 would result in significant change in Victorian racing integrity systems. Under this recommendation, the racing integrity departments of each of the three racing codes would be brought together into one statutory agency.
“Separating the enforcement arm from the commercial arm of the three racing codes has merit,” Dr Napthine said.
“It is a well-considered recommendation of the Racing Integrity Commissioner and I will be conducting consultation with the three racing bodies together with other racing stakeholders to determine how this recommendation could be best implemented.”