Future Proofing Victorian Racing With Improvement Initiatives

A wide-ranging suite of improvement initiatives collectively proposed by key stakeholders has been endorsed by the Racing Victoria (RV) Board to shape the way the Victorian racing industry grows into the future.

Picture: (Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

The seven key improvement themes are a result of the RV appointed Fair Racing for All steering committee's review into culture and behaviour. The objective is to improve voluntary compliance to avoid major integrity breaches, including equine welfare breaches, and promote a responsible culture of fair play, ethical behaviours and respect.

The Fair Racing for All project commenced earlier this year and was designed to complement existing work being undertaken by RV's Integrity Services to enhance its processes and resourcing.

The steering committee met with more than 30 key stakeholder groups and individuals across the racing industry, as well as other sporting organisations and business sectors, to consolidate the views of those consulted on how the Victorian racing industry can work together to drive further improvement.

The seven key improvement themes endorsed by the RV Board are as follows, with each carrying a series of recommendations within:

  1. Values and Behaviours - Articulate, promote and celebrate adherence to fundamental values of the 'Spirit of Horse Racing' and the 'Golden Rules' of conduct for each key participant group;
  2. Compulsory Personal Development - Focus on the provision of education, training and support networks for industry participants to improve conduct and the understanding of the Rules of Racing;
  3. Enhanced Licensing Standards - Update the licensing and accreditation standards to improve licensee accountability, maintain a high level of knowledge and increase industry standards by all licensees;
  4. Updated Penalties and Whistleblowing - Update the penalty framework and strengthen the whistleblowing policy;
  5. Improved Information Sharing - Foster stronger relationships and information sharing between RV, stakeholder groups and external agencies;
  6. Investment in Infrastructure and Technology - Ensure requisite investment in quality infrastructure, technology and research, to further advance the industry's capabilities, services and work practices; and
  7. Thoroughbred sales – Encourage and promote greater transparency and confidence in the process for the buying and selling of thoroughbreds.

The Fair Racing for All recommendations represent those areas that key stakeholders have stated that the industry must prioritise to enhance the culture of the industry and ultimately prevent Rule breaches. They have been developed to ensure:

  • Best practice compliance, responsible behaviours and industry values are embraced and adhered to by all industry participants;
  • That long-term change is embedded and sustained across the racing industry;
  • Promotion of a culture of voluntary and proactive reporting of incidents; and
  • Enhanced support for the racing industry within the wider community.

RV will now work in consultation with the relevant industry stakeholders to develop detailed implementation plans for the successful delivery of the recommendations and has targeted the next licensing period, commencing mid-2020 for the 2020-21 racing season, for many initiatives within.

Quotes attributable to RV Chairman – Brian Kruger

"The Fair Racing for All Report is a chance for our industry to take the practical steps to remain sustainable and prosper in the future.

"The broad range of stakeholders consulted told the Fair Racing for All steering committee that these are the areas our industry must focus on if we wish to have high levels of integrity and ultimately prosper.

"The recommendations endorsed by the RV Board reflect the submissions and commentary provided during the consultation period and will require an industry-wide approach to implement them.

"These are important initiatives and we understand they will require resourcing and consultation with stakeholders, but we'll be working to implement many of these recommendations for the next licensing period from mid-2020.

"If we are to succeed and grow as an industry, then integrity, culture and behaviours must be a shared responsibility for all within Victorian racing."

To download the Fair Racing for All Report, please click here.

Background Notes

The Fair Racing for All steering committee was established to conduct a strategic review, consult widely, and investigate high level policy recommendations and observations to achieve objectives that underpin the sustainability and ongoing growth of racing, and its economic and social assets.

The aim of Fair Racing for All is to promote a responsible culture of fair play, ethical behaviours and respect across the entire industry to improve compliance to avoid integrity breaches.

An experienced steering committee was established in early 2019 by the Racing Victoria Board to consult with the racing industry and relevant external organisations. The steering committee comprised of:

  • Michael Andrew AO (Chair) – Racing Victoria Director*
  • Hayden Opie AM – Racing Victoria Integrity Council member
  • Jamie Stier – Racing Victoria Executive General Manager, Integrity Services

(* Kate Joel – Racing Victoria Director replaced Michael following his passing in June 2019)

Over 30 key stakeholder groups and individuals across the racing industry as well as other sporting, and varying business sectors were consulted and/or made submission to the steering committee. For a full list of stakeholders and individuals, please refer to the Fair Racing for All Report.

The steering committee completed several rounds of industry consultations across racing industry groups including representative bodies, racing clubs, wagering service providers, Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board, Racing Victoria Integrity Council, Government and the RSPCA.

Racing and Sports