Forgery scandal leaves Minister Howlett with questions to answer 14 June 2024

Tas Labor

Confirmation that controversial harness trainer Robert Walters had been found guilty of forging documents by the Office Racing Integrity on 29 May, but was still granted a temporary license allowing him to take on Yole horses should leave Minister Howlett with little choice but to remove the Director of Racing.

It also means Ms Howlett undoubtedly knew about the issue yesterday when she refused to answer questions about it, and probably much longer.

Forging documents can be a criminal offence, but alarmingly, it doesn’t appear that ORI referred this matter to police – instead letting him get away with a $2000 fine, with $1000 suspended.

This is exactly the sort of leniency to bad behaviour which saw the harness code up in arms earlier this week – forcing Minister Howlett to finally take action and stop Mr Walters from running horses in Tasmania.

The Liberals’ mismanagement of racing has left participants beside themselves. Confidence is being eroded daily and the Racing Minister needs to explain why she has confidence in this Director of Racing when it seems the industry does not.

The first thing the Minister needs to explain is why they have not sacked the Director of Racing in light of these and other outrageous breaches of integrity.

Luke Edmunds MLC

Shadow Minister for Racing

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