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.
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:
- 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;
- 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;
- 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;
- Updated Penalties and Whistleblowing - Update the penalty framework and strengthen the whistleblowing policy;
- Improved Information Sharing - Foster stronger relationships and information sharing between RV, stakeholder groups and external agencies;
- 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
- 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.