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    “Not happy” Racing Minister demands consultation “Not happy” Racing Minister demands consultation

    VICTORIAN Racing Minister, Anthony Carbines

    THIS morning’s open statement from the state’s kindred bodies refuting Harness Racing Victoria’s claims of consultation ahead of the stakes cuts has already garnished... “Not happy” Racing Minister demands consultation
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    THIS morning’s open statement from the state’s kindred bodies refuting Harness Racing Victoria’s claims of consultation ahead of the stakes cuts has already garnished a result.

    Just to recap, two days ago HRV issued a press release revealing prizemoney will drop by eight per cent.

    HRV declared it needs to cut a whopping $10million from the budget, of which $3.9million will come from reducing stakes, with the balance expected to come from operational costs.

    In its release HRV stated “HRV consulted with industry kindred bodies and stakeholders regarding the restructuring of prizemoney in an extensive six-week review.”

    HRV CEO Matthew Isaacs even went as far as to be “thankful that industry bodies, including Victorian Trainers’ and Drivers’ Association, Harness Breeders Victoria and Trots Club Victoria, had provided not only their time but invaluable insights, guiding decision making during the consultation period”.

    Almost immediately, the Victorian Trainers’ and Drivers’ Association, via social media, denied consultation.

    That lead to the Presidents of four kindred bodies VT&DA, Square Trotters Association, Trots Club Victoria and the Victorian Harness Racing Club issuing a joint statement declaring they had not been consulted by HRV.

    In fact, the kindred bodies report they have been asking for a meeting with Issacs and HRV’s Board since June 9.

    “We reject the notion that HRV consulted extensively with our kindred bodies in relation to the restructuring of prizemoney leading up to the recent announcement. HRV may have sought out the opinions of individuals within the industry, however, extensive consultation with the kindred bodies that we represent has not taken place.

    “Collectively the Presidents of the kindred bodies wrote to the Chairman and CEO of Harness Racing Victoria back on 9 June 2023 outlining concerns and requesting a meeting as a matter of priority to discuss such concerns and the plans that HRV has to address these issues.

    “We are extremely disappointed that despite follow up requests, and the perilous financial position that HRV finds itself in, that such a meeting has not been facilitated by HRV or taken place in the eight weeks since that request.

    “In recent weeks, the Presidents of the kindred bodies have been seeking a meeting with the Racing Minister Anthony Carbines to discuss our concerns and the poor financial position that Harness Racing Victoria finds itself in. It is our view that Harness Racing Victoria requires new competent, capable and passionate people on the Board (appointed in consultation with the industry) to work with new CEO Matt Isaacs to turn our Industry around and deliver better financial outcomes for our hard working harness racing participants and stakeholders.”

    Within a few hours of the kindred bodies’ statement, a “not happy” Carbines is believed to have ordered HRV to meet with the Presidents, with the talks reportedly set to take place next Wednesday.

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