The Queensland Racing Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett believes the commission has more than justified its existence after its first year of operation.
Barnett was reflecting on the first year of QRIC which was established last July after a report into live baiting in the greyhound industry.
It is responsible for stewards, internal reviews and integrity matters in all three racing codes.
Barnett said the Commission’s achievements in its first year demonstrated the value of an independent welfare and integrity agency.
“The QRIC has expanded the drug sampling regime to test for prohibited substances in 100 per cent of winning animals across all three racing codes,” Barnett said.
He said the investigations team had also randomly drug tested participants at racetracks and meetings throughout the state.
Barnett said QRIC’s internal review process provided a free and independent mechanism for industry participants to challenge the decisions and penalties handed down by stewards.
“The Commission has finalised 100 internal reviews resulting in the alteration of 31 original decisions, 23 of which have been amended and eight overturned,” he said.
“Overall there have been 794 thoroughbred and 227 harness and 324 greyhound racing stewarding decisions eligible for internal review.”
He said QRIC in partnership with the police Queensland Racing Crime Squad had resulted in 44 charges against 24 offenders.
“In 12 months, more than 100 investigations have been finalised and 60 QPS Racing Intelligence submissions completed,” he said.
Barnett said QRIC had employed two additional vets and created an equine welfare program to support the transitioning of retired racehorses into other sports.