Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, has joined animal welfare advocate Fran Chambers to call for an urgent overhaul of TasRacing and the Office of Racing Integrity (ORI).
“We need a truly independent, arm’s length inquiry into the operations of TasRacing and the ORI and an urgent overhaul of the system, looking at all resourcing, rules, capability and procedures,” Mr Wilkie said.
“Recent revelations about the toxic work environment at the ORI are of great concern, particularly the departure of more than 20 staff from the office since 2018. In the meantime, animals used for racing continue to suffer.
“Eight greyhounds have died on the track in Tasmania so far this year, including four in Hobart, three in Devonport and one in Launceston. It’s abundantly clear that TasRacing and the ORI are incapable of properly regulating the industry.”
Ms Chambers, from the advocacy group Let Greyhounds Run Free, says ORI lacks the financial and human resources to carry out its charter and investigate the welfare of animals under its brief.
“While Racing Minister Jane Howlett has announced a forward-looking review into TasRacing and the ORI, this is unlikely to identify the real issues that need addressing,” she said.
“A fully independent inquiry that addresses the past is urgently required to openly investigate procedural and operational matters under clear and wide-ranging terms of reference. Anything less than a fully independent inquiry will be seen by the public as yet another whitewash.”