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Govt Announces Major Changes To Racing NSW
The NSW Government yesterday announced changes to the appointment & membership of the Board of Racing NSW “to improve its ability to ensure the future sustainability of the thoroughbred racing industry”. Racing Minister George Souris said the government “will introduce legislation to Parliament to broaden the skills base of the Board & strengthen appointment procedures & eligibility & conflict of interest requirements”. Souris noted: “The Board of Racing NSW is responsible for ensuring the future viability & sustainable development of the racing industry - a sector which employs 50,000 people & injects $1 billion a year into the economy. In 2008 a new independent Board model was introduced in an attempt to end factionalism & self-interest & ensure members act in the best interests of the NSW racing industry as a whole. However, a review of the current provisions demonstrates insufficient legislative content ensuring adequate resources & skills & eliminating the influence of factional & personal interests in decision making.” The proposed legislative changes include:
- Increasing the Board from 5 to 7 members “to boost its capacity to meet workload & expand its skills base – 2 of the current 5 members’ terms expire at the end of this year.
- Introducing a new requirement that “a person is not eligible for a Board appointment if he or she has been an employee or committee member of a race club or industry association in the previous 12 months.
- Expressly prohibit Board membership if the Selection Panel determines that the person has a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in conflict with the role of a Board member.
- Strengthen the conflict of interest provision in the Act requiring the disclosure of a direct or indirect interest in a matter under consideration by Racing NSW.
- Prohibit a Board member from participating in the consideration of a matter in which they have acquired & disclosed a pecuniary interest.
- Enable the Board member Selection Panel to provide a shortlist of candidates to the Minister to make the final selection.
- Enable the Minister to appoint the Chair & Deputy Chair of Racing NSW.