Victoria Minister for Racing Denis Napthine
Labor Leader Gets It Totally Wrong On Racing Integrity
Victor P Taffa
Comments about racing integrity issues by Labor leader Daniel Andrews demonstrates his complete lack of knowledge about racing and its integrity framework, Minister for Racing Denis Napthine said today.
Mr. Andrews said today “In terms of how we’ve got into what I think is a real mess, with someone charged today who rode … in many parts of the carnival last week, is because Denis Napthine has not given to RVL (Racing Victoria Limited) the powers that they sought.”
Fact 1: Powers to ‘stand down’ jockeys or other racing participants currently exist under the industry’s own ‘Australian Rules of Racing’. It is crystal clear that Racing Victoria has the power to stand down jockeys and indeed jockeys have been stood done in recent times in Victoria and New South Wales.
Fact 2: In the two years since the election of the Victorian Coalition Government, Racing Victoria has not sought any additional powers in relation to standing down jockeys. Racing Victoria has today confirmed that it will not be seeking any legislative changes for increased stand down powers in relation to licensed persons (including jockeys).
Fact 3: Racing Victoria has never sought any additional powers to deal with the ongoing inquiry relating to Damien Oliver.
Fact 4: Racing Victoria was established by the previous Labor Government of which Mr. Andrews was a member as an independent body. Racing Victoria’s integrity officials (stewards) must be able to operate without political interference.
Fact 5: It is absolutely contrary to the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness for politicians to interfere in ongoing investigations of independent Racing Victoria stewards.
Dr. Napthine said it would be totally inappropriate for a Government Minister to intervene in such matters just as it is totally inappropriate for the Police Minister to intervene in police investigations.
“It is extremely disappointing that the Leader of the State Labor Opposition is advocating for political interference in independent integrity inquiries being conducted by racing stewards.” Dr. Napthine said.
“When in Government, Mr. Andrews and Labor did not care about the racing industry, allowing tracks to be closed and race meetings to be taken away from country Victoria.”
“I don’t expect Mr. Andrews’ interest in racing now is anything beyond getting a cheap and misinformed grab on the television.” Dr. Napthine said.