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THE SUNSHINE COAST NEWSPAPER COLUMN - QRIC'S 'INTERNAL AFFAIRS' BECOMING A CAUSE FOR CONCERN

By Graham Potter | Sunday, March 26, 2017

Graham Potter writes a weekly column for the Sunshine Coast daily. Due to demand from those having trouble accessing the paper these columns are now also published on HRO courtesy of the Sunshine Coast daily.

The musical chairs situation at the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) is fast becoming as much of a concern to racing enthusiasts as anything QRIC might have to investigate outside of its own doors.

The latest ‘casualty’ is QRIC’s Integrity Regulation Unit boss who was removed from his position earlier this week following a complaint. He will however continue in a race-day stewarding capacity while that complaint is investigated.

Just how he is clear to perform the latter role while not being deemed suitable to hold on to his former position until a ‘fully independent’ investigation is concluded is something of a mystery.

Go figure!

The topic, from the reason for the complaint to the decision to implement a change in roles, remains open for speculation ... and possible damaging innuendo ... to some degree at least because the QRIC Commissioner, as he has done before, has called time on any further information release from QRIC’s side.

‘No further comment is appropriate at this time,’ is the Commissioner’s sign off message ... building on the ‘no comment theme’ that has previously been used with regard to the sacking of the Chief Harness Racing Steward and also the standing down of the once Director of Stewarding and Licensing.

Remember that Director? You would be forgiven if you don’t. It was that long ago ... but it is still an unresolved matter shielded by silence.

Quite understandably, it is logical that only certain parties remain privy to certain information with regard to on-going matters ... that would be fair to both sides ... and we all would agree with the Commissioner when he says, ‘The integrity of the Queensland Racing Industry is of the utmost importance.’

But, equally, there has to be a reasonable information inclusion factor for racing stakeholders so that they can know what is going on, at least to a degree where they can have confidence in the processes adopted at QRIC.

Smooth efficiency needs to be the order of the day at QRIC ... not just in a closed shop environment but for all to see.

It is paramount to QRIC's success.

Are we there yet?

You can try 'no comment' if you like but, just remember, it might not always be the best answer!

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