Stewards, trainers welcome appeal review

Queensland trainers and stewards have welcomed a government review of the state’s cumbersome appeals process.

Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe hopes to have a result of the review by the end of the year.

He will meet with key industry participants next week but suggestions are also open to the public through an online process.

The current system involves jockeys and trainers seeking an internal review which can then be followed by appeals to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

There have been long delays at QCAT with some cases taking more than a year to be resolved.

In a media release, Hinchliffe said the idea was to explore options to reform Queensland’s racing appeals procedures as part of a three-year review of the Racing Integrity Act.

“QRIC is delivering strong and effective oversight of Queensland’s racing industry across the three codes,” he said.

“The Commission has demonstrated its commitment to tackling animal cruelty, race fixing, doping and other illegal activities in the racing industry.

“It also has a strong record of community engagement, delivering great outcomes through initiatives such as the highly successful Greyhound Adoption Program.”

He said there was concern within industry that some the administrative and appeals mechanisms QRIC relies on were not as effective as they could be.

“Stakeholders are worried it’s taking too long to finalise matters that are subject to appeal and about the perceived lack of industry knowledge of the decision makers in the external review process,” he said.

“There are also concerns, which I share, that the ‘stay of proceedings’ mechanism can be used by participants as a loophole to carry on business as usual while reviews are ongoing.

“That’s why we’ve released a discussion paper on the review of the Racing Integrity Act and I’m calling on industry participants to have their say.”

QRIC commissioner Ross Barnett said he welcomed the review and called on racing industry stakeholders to contribute to the discussion.

“I would like to invite all those involved in the racing industry to make comments about the issues associated with the new legislative regime to help the government decide if changes are necessary and if so, how best to support the industry into the future,” Barnett said.

The secretary of the Queensland branch of the Australian Trainers Association, Cameron Partington, said trainers had met with Hinchliffe last month urging changes.

“In particular we wanted a method to speed up the time taken for appeals in QCAT with perhaps specialist members hearing the cases,” he said.

Credit: AAP

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