The Victorian Racing Tribunal (VRT) conducted its inaugural hearing earlier this week, signalling a new era in racing integrity in Victoria.
The VRT was established following a 2015 Victorian Government review to ensure that Victorian racing has an integrity and disciplinary system that is rigorous, independent and impartial.
The tribunal replaces the racing appeals boards from the three racing codes – thoroughbred racing, harness racing and greyhound racing – and brings the codes together under one independent authority.
The first case heard by the tribunal was a harness racing matter, where – after a three and a half hour sitting – driver Matthew Craven had his original penalty of three weeks for unacceptable driving reduced to a $2500 fine. The finding paves the way for Craven to drive in the prestigious Breeders Crown this weekend at Tabcorp Park, Melton.
Tribunal members Judge John Bowman, Magistrate John Doherty and Robert Abrahams convened at 121 Exhibition Street for the hearing.
The racing industry in Victoria generates $4.3 billion for the Victorian economy and helps sustain over 33,800 full-time equivalent jobs locally.