Dispute Resolution, Mediation and Conciliation Services

An important role within Racing Victoria’s Integrity Services Department is to receive, collate, assess, and process integrity-related disputes and complaints in an efficient manner. Such matters may relate to:

(a) the alleged or apparent contravention of the Racing Victoria Rules of Racing; and/or
(b) the integrity of the thoroughbred racing industry in Victoria.

If you have an integrity-related complaint, or seek the assistance of Racing Victoria to settle a dispute, you are required to complete and submit the online Dispute Submission Form.
How Do You Lodge A Complaint Or Dispute For The Review Of Racing Victoria?
Once a Dispute Submission Form is completed and submitted, Racing Victoria’s Integrity Liaison Officer will review it within three (3) business days of lodgement. Please include all relevant details and materials (including documents) when lodging the Dispute Submission Form.

For all other general (integrity-related) queries, please email integrityliaison@racingvictoria.net.au
How Do We Assess The Lodgement Of Your Dispute Or Complaint?
We record the receipt of your complaint or dispute and carefully review what you have told us. We then assess the allegation(s) and relevant materials to see if we can inform, advise on or mediate the complaint or dispute without you having to take further action.

If we identify any further material which may be relevant to your complaint or dispute, we will request that information from you so we can consider it in the overall assessment of your complaint. If, in our view, there is no further material to be gathered from you, we will contact any respondent to the complaint or dispute and request a formal reply, generally, within seven (7) days from the date of our request to the respondent.
Mediation & Conciliation Services
Racing Victoria offers parties to a complaint or dispute the opportunity to participate in a formal mediation or conciliation process. The mediation or conciliation process is conducted by the Integrity Liaison Officer who is a Nationally Accredited Mediator.

Mediation: The objective of this process is to enable the parties to reach a mutually acceptable settlement of the complaint or dispute, on terms they have agreed, recorded in a written signed agreement.

The role of the mediator is purely to facilitate settlement of the complaint or dispute by negotiation between the parties to be recorded by a written, signed agreement. The mediator is independent and neutral, and their role is not to adjudicate the complaint or dispute. The mediation is a voluntary process and the mediator will not, and cannot, compel the parties to settle, or even to continue the mediation. The mediation, and all things said or disclosed during the mediation, are, and will remain, without prejudice.

Conciliation: Is an alternative to mediation. Like mediation, conciliation is a voluntary, flexible, confidential, and interest-based process. The parties seek to reach an amicable dispute settlement with the assistance of the conciliator, who acts as a neutral third party.

The main difference between conciliation and mediation is that, at some point during the conciliation, the conciliator will be asked by the parties to provide them with a non-binding settlement proposal. A mediator, by contrast, will in most matters, refrain from making such a proposal. However, like in mediation proceedings, the ultimate decision to agree on the settlement remains with the parties.
Training Disputes Tribunal – Trainer & Owner Reform
The Training Disputes Tribunal has jurisdiction to hear and determine disputes between trainers and owners in relation to training fees or training disbursements as part of Racing Australia’s Trainer & Owner Reform.

Racing Australia introduced the Trainer & Owner Reforms on 1 August 2017. These reforms are intended to provide greater certainty and clarity in the relationship between (i) owners and trainers, and (ii) multiple co-owners of a horse. They are aimed at encouraging on-time payments of training fees, and introduce a streamlined process to resolve issues where payments are not made in a timely fashion.

The reforms introduce a Standard Training Agreement and a Co-Owner Agreement (applicable to all trainers and owners, excluding, those ‘exempt’).

Whilst the Training Disputes Tribunal may hear disputes between trainers and owners, it does not have jurisdiction to hear disputes between co-owners. In relation to disputes between co-owners, an owner may seek the assistance of Racing Victoria’s Integrity Department by completing a Dispute Submission Form.

In order for the Training Disputes Tribunal to hear and determine a dispute, a valid Notice of Election of Hearing Form must be lodged with Racing Australia along with payment of the Filing Fee ($250). A copy of the Notice of Election of Hearing form can be obtained here.

The TDT process is provided for under Rule 8 of the Trainer and Owner Reforms (TOR) Rules, contained in Schedule 1 of the Australian Rules of Racing. The powers, functions and jurisdiction of the Tribunal are provided for under the Local Rules of Racing (LR) 6G, 6H and 6I.

Racing Victoria’s Training Disputes Tribunal is chaired by former County Court Judge Russell Lewis. All parties to proceedings before the Training Disputes Tribunal should refer to the Practice Note below which outlines the general procedures to be followed:

Click here to view the Practice Note TDT1 – Training Disputes Tribunal - General Procedures.
Contact Us
Training Disputes Tribunal Registrar

Phone: 03 9258 4258
Fax: 03 9258 4366
Email: tdt@racingvictoria.net.au
Decision Not To Take Further Action
Should Racing Victoria decide not to take further action on your complaint or dispute, we will communicate this to you.

If we can suggest other ways of solving the issues raised by you, we will do so. Also, if there is another organisation which is better suited to deal with your complaint or dispute, we will advise you.

Our decision not to take further action on your complaint or dispute does not affect any private rights you may have, and you may wish to consult a legal adviser on whether to pursue these rights privately. Please note that if we decide not to take further action in relation to your complaint or dispute, the information you provide to us in support of your complaint or dispute will be kept confidential.
Review Of Outcome
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of, or action taken in relation to, your complaint or dispute by the Integrity Liaison Officer, you may request Racing Victoria to review the matter.

The matter will then be reviewed by either the Head of Investigations and Intelligence, General Manager, Integrity Services or an appointed person, provided they were not involved in the original handling of the complaint or dispute. A review of the complaint or dispute and related outcome or action will be conducted and in determining the review you are welcome to provide further information to assist with the review.

If after this review, you are unhappy with Racing Victoria’s handling of the review, you may refer the matter to the Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner (ORIC).

We note that the ORIC has powers under section 37B of the Racing Act 1958 (Vic) to investigate complaints made about integrity processes and systems of controlling bodies, such as Racing Victoria. You may contact the ORIC via enquiries@racingintegrity.vic.gov.au. Further contact details for the ORIC can be found at www.racingintegrity.vic.gov.au.
Disclaimer
Racing Victoria does not provide legal advice; however, depending on the nature of your complaint we may be able to provide you with general advice to assist you in resolving your complaint.

Information given to the Integrity Liaison Officer is treated with the strictest of confidence and subject to law at all times. The information provided is used as a resource to assist the Officer in the investigation of the complaint or dispute only.

Our website www.racingvictoria.com.au includes the up-to-date Rules of Racing, provides assistance for owners, trainers and other industry participants, and provides occupational health and safety advice.