In Tasmania, two new bodies could be established in order to reform the island’s horse racing industry if legislation introduced in the State Parliament is approved.
Submitted last week, the proposed Racing Regulation Amendment Bill would see the creation of a new Tasmanian Racing Board to take over the powers and functions of Tote Tasmania in relation to governance and administration. In addition, the Bill would establish an Integrity Assurance Board to adjudicate appeals arising from the statutory decisions of the Director of Racing.
Michael Aird, the Minister for Racing, stated that both the international and national the racing industries had changed dramatically in recent years and that the new reforms would allow the industry in Tasmania to grow and flourish.
'The racing industry wants change and to do nothing has the potential to hamstring the industry to the point where it will stagnate,' said Aird.
'The Government has listened as the industry has told us that from both a commercial and integrity perspective it must adapt and evolve in order to grow.
“The seven-member Tasmanian Racing Board will allow the racing industry to take control of its own destiny and will be an independent, skills-based commercial board. It will develop a vision and plan to sell Tasmanian racing to new and emerging markets and make decisions in the best interests of the entire industry. The three racing code councils will be abolished with their existing powers and functions transferred to the new Board and the Director of Racing.'
If approved, the new reforms would become effective from January 1 while Aird stated that the industry was keen for the new Tasmanian Racing Board to become a State-owned company.
“The industry has identified that a State-owned company may be a more appropriate model for the Tasmanian Racing Board in the longer term, given its strong commercial focus,” said Aird.