An independent Tasmanian MLC will push for a parliamentary inquiry into the state-owned company responsible for the governance of the racing industry, after the second important race meeting in six weeks had to be called off in Hobart.
Ivan Dean said he would be "very surprised" if he couldn't get the requisite support from the committee he chairs to establish an inquiry into Tasracing.
His comments follow the abandonment of the $100,000 Tasmanian Guineas thoroughbred race meeting on Sunday due to damage to the track at the Elwick Racecourse. It's now been rescheduled for Wednesday.
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Racing Minister Jane Howlett said an independent investigation into the Elwick track would be conducted. "I have full confidence that an independent investigation will get to the bottom of what has occurred and also provide recommendations to ensure that these events do not occur in future," she said.
But Mr Dean, the member for Windermere in the upper house, is intent on seeing a parliamentary inquiry into Tasracing established.
"[MLCs] asked a number of questions [of Tasracing] during the [government business enterprise hearings] ... on the state of the tracks and so on," Mr Dean said. "And we were being assured that the [Elwick] track was in good condition, it was standing up well, it was reacting to the works that they'd done on it and so on and there were no real issues and problems with it."
"To see this happen, so shortly thereafter makes you wonder what the hell's going on."
Mr Dean said he intended to convene a meeting of the Legislative Council's six-member Sessional Committee Government Administration B to discuss the option of standing up an inquiry into Tasracing.
According to the MLC, the terms of reference for the prospective inquiry would likely cover Tasracing's financial position and the maintenance of tracks.
The postponement of the Elwick race meeting comes little more than a month after the 3YO Cup meeting at Mowbray was called off because of holes in the track.
Opposition racing spokesman David O'Byrne said questions now needed to be asked about the "fundamental governance of racing in Tasmania" and that it was possible the parliament's Public Accounts Committee - which Mr Dean chairs, too - could stand up a second inquiry into Tasracing.
"The racing participants are losing confidence in not only Tasracing to govern the codes but also the government to show respect to the industry," Mr O'Byrne said.
Tasracing chief executive Paul Eriksson said on Sunday that the Elwick postponement was disappointing and that participants would be compensated. "The track had undergone work during December and while the majority of the track is in good condition, some specific areas did not recover to an appropriate level," he said. "Tasracing, in conjunction with our track partner Strathayr, will be undertaking an investigation into how the damage occurred and why the track did not recover to the level it should."
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