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Ploubidis Claims SA Minister "Knew About Vote-Rigging"
In Adelaide, sacked South Australian Jockey Club chief executive Steve Ploubidis "has accused Racing Minister Michael Wright of being aware of the increase in membership before the SAJC's controversial board election," reported The Advertiser. Ploubidis told a parliamentary committee he spoke to the minister at a Melbourne Cup function last year (3 weeks before the election) when they were sitting at the same table & "he asked me if the right people were going to be elected" & "I mentioned to him there was a very strong membership drive of young members & the sponsors were looking at sponsoring those young members". Wright "angrily denied the claims" & said the inquiry was "set up by the Liberal Party", while insisting: "If he had informed me I would've informed the IGA (Independent Gambling Authority) as a matter of priority." Ploubidis also claimed current Thoroughbred Racing SA chairman Philip Bentley was similarly aware of the "strategy to increase membership" & gave his "total support going forward", noting: "He took a keen interest in it. He knew if the dynamics of the jockey club changed . . . it would mean his position on the TRSA board would become rather fragile."