Victoria’s racing industry is set to be further strengthened following the establishment of a new tribunal designed to enhance and streamline the disciplinary and appeals process for thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing.
Acting Minister for Racing Jaclyn Symes on Tuesday announced appointments to the Victorian Racing Tribunal, which will hear and determine serious charges made against licensed persons by controlling bodies and stewards.
The Victorian Racing Tribunal will also oversee the hearing and determination of a broad range of appeals, including those relating to penalties imposed by controlling bodies, and it takes over from the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board in thoroughbred racing.
The tribunal comprises some of the most experienced legal professionals in Victoria, led by chairperson Judge John Bowman, who has sat on the County Court of Victoria since 2001.
Judge Bowman will work with three deputy chairpersons and 12 other tribunal members, including former County Court judges Graeme Hicks and Julie Nicholson, magistrate John Doherty and former lead financial ombudsman Dr June Smith.
Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal vice-president Judge Marilyn Harbison and chair of Greyhound Racing Victoria’s Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board and former Federal Court judge Shane Marshall will join ex-thoroughbred racing chairman of stewards Des Gleeson on the tribunal, along with retired jockeys Maree Payne and Greg Childs.
Other tribunal members are Robert Abrahams, Josh Bornstein, Judy Bourke, Heidi Keighran, Amanda Upton and Andrew Gould.
The Victorian Racing Tribunal will come into operation for the new racing season, starting August 1.
The establishment of the tribunal is part of the Andrews Labor Government’s comprehensive plan to ensure Victoria remains the pre-eminent racing state in Australia.
The Victorian Budget 2019/20 includes a $72 million (703 million) boost for local racing infrastructure and events and a $40m (R390 million) contribution to increase prizemoney for participants across the codes.
The Victorian racing industry contributes $4.3 billion (R42 billion) to the economy each year and sustains more than 33,000 equivalent full-time jobs across the state.
Symes said: “We are committed to promoting fairness and integrity across all three codes of racing and the Victorian Racing Tribunal has a vital role to play in achieving this goal.
“Members of the racing industry and punters, as well as the broader public, expect world-leading practice in this area and that’s what we are delivering.
“Led by Judge Bowman, the Tribunal boasts some of the best legal minds in the state and collectively they will bring fairness and impartiality to the important cases that will come before them.” – racing.com