Integrity measures in Victorian racing are to be further strengthened by the establishment of independent Integrity Councils for each racing code.
“The Victorian racing industry is an important driver of the state’s economy and the bedrock of any racing industry is public confidence in its integrity,” Dr Napthine said.
“These new Integrity Councils will operate independently from the Boards of the racing controlling bodies, that is, Greyhound Racing Victoria, Harness Racing Victoria and Racing Victoria, and will have responsibility for the oversight and direction of integrity assurance operational matters.
“This structural reform will ensure there is greater separation between the important commercial side of racing and the critical integrity services provided by each racing code.”
The functions of the Integrity Councils will include:
Â· Â Â Â Â oversight of integrity assurance functions;
Â· Â Â Â Â provision of advice and recommendations to the respective Boards on integrity-related matters; and
Â· Â Â Â Â liaison with the Racing Integrity Commissioner and the other Integrity Councils.
Each of the three Integrity Councils will be comprised of five members, three of whom, including the Chairperson, will be independent of the respective Controlling Bodies and will be unable to hold any office or participant licence.
The remaining two Integrity Council members will come from the Board of the relevant Controlling Body but will not be either the Chair or the Deputy Chair of that code.
All Integrity Council members will be appointed by the relevant controlling body, following approval by the Minister for Racing.
An Integrity Council Implementation Working Group has also been formed, made up of the Chairs of each Integrity Council, to provide ongoing review of the operation of the Integrity Councils. Following two years of operation the Racing Integrity Commissioner will assess the total efficacy of this important reform.
This reform follows and is consistent with the recommendations by the Racing Integrity Commissioner in his report on the 2012 Own Motion Inquiry into Race Fixing in Victoria.
The establishment of the Integrity Councils, along with the recent legislative reforms confirming the power of Racing Victoria to apply the rules of racing to non-licensed persons, and increased powers for the Racing Integrity Commissioner will ensure that Victoria’s integrity assurance arrangements remain world class.
“These reforms, along with other racing integrity measures introduced in the past twelve months by the racing controlling bodies and by Government, place Victorian racing at the forefront of integrity across Australia,” Dr Napthine said.