Minister for National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing
The Honourable Steven Dickson
01/05/2012

Racing Reform One Step Closer

The Newman Government has welcomed the appointment of three new members to the Board of Racing Queensland Limited (RQL) as the organisation transitions from its current form, to one based on greater industry input.

The appointments became necessary, after three Board members stepped down.

Racing Minister Steve Dickson said today’s appointment of Warrick Stansfield, Greg Hallam, and John Falvey, plus the appointment of Kevin Dixon two weeks ago, meant that RQL now had a leadership team well equipped to assist the government fulfil its election commitments.

The Minister also welcomed the elevation of Mr Dixon, to the position of RQL Chairman.
 
“The Government now has full confidence in the RQL Board’s ability to perform its functions in a manner that aligns with our expectations; especially as the governing body devolves from a single All Codes Racing Board, into four separate entities,” Mr Dickson said.

Steve Dickson was pleased that t he new members would be able to effectively represent the interests of the different codes that they had previously been actively involvement in.

“Mr Dixon has a background with the Thoroughbred industry, Mr Stansfield with Harness racing, Mr Falvey with Greyhound racing. Mr Hallam, the current Chief Executive of the Local Government Association of Queensland, brings with him a sound understanding of the unique requirements of regional and rural Queensland,” he said.

The Liberal National Party has committed to establishing three new Control Boards, representing Thoroughbreds, Harness, and Greyhound racing, plus an all codes industry board.

“Whilst each future Control Board will be responsible for the day to day management of their particular racing code, the All Codes Industry Board will be responsible for advising on strategic policy issues such as television rights,” he said.

Minister Dickson said that the new governance arrangements would give those involved in the sector a much greater say in how the industry it is run.

“There can be no doubt that in recent years the voices of the very people who were the heart and soul of racing in Queensland had been stifled,” he said.

“I know that many people lost faith with the way the former government ran the sector, effectively outsourcing all responsibility for racing in this state to a clique of unaccountable Labor mates, an approach which took away the ability to have constructive input into the direction of racing in Queensland.”

The Minister said that whilst legislative changes would still be required his main concern was that racing continued unhindered in Queensland.

“Queensland’s racing industry employs 30,000 people and supports 130 community based clubs. Maintaining confidence in the racing sector is therefore paramount to ensuring people’s livelihoods are not effected during this transition period,” he said.

“I want to make it clear that the current administrative changes will in no way prevent the ongoing operation of racing in Queensland, nor stop race meetings from going ahead as scheduled.”

In the coming weeks Mr Dickson will announce the appointment of a Ministerial Advisory Committee, to be made up of industry and community representatives, who would provide input into the next phase of the transition process.