HRA Executive To Consider Report Recommendations

14 October 2011

The Harness Racing Australia (HRA) Annual General Meeting on Monday provided an opportunity for the HRA Members to discuss the contents of both the Australian Breeding Panel Report, released in July, and a Supplementary Report which was finalised following public consultation.

With the full Panel in attendance, Members were able to gain a better understanding of the recommendations in detail and pose questions on various aspects of both reports.
In congratulating the Panel, HRA Chairman Geoff Want said Members were greatly appreciative of the work the Panel had undertaken and thankful for the issues tabled.
"This is an important and long overdue body of work that has highlighted the challenges facing the breeding industry and provided solutions which can now be fully considered,” he said. "We will not get industry consensus on all the recommendations and there will be disagreement over some of the funding proposals, but this does not mean we should ignore most of the contents".
The report has sparked considerable discussion in both Australia and New Zealand, the overwhelming majority of it positive. Most opposition has been in relation to a revised fee structure, with a misguided campaign claiming one proposal would breach various Trade Agreements or Competition laws. 
"We have strong legal advice that we can implement all the proposals if that is the ultimate view of HRA's Members, despite the somewhat hysterical rantings of a small group of respondents," Want said.
"It is not our desire however to get into a public debate or a legal stoush, but we will engage in discussions with any responsible industry groups which may feel aggrieved by any proposed action.
“The major focus now has to be on addressing the serious issues within the breeding industry. 
“HRA is mindful of the importance imported horses play in our breeding and racing industry, and have no desire to take action which would adversely affect commercial returns in these areas. We also look forward to building on recent positive discussions with Harness Racing New Zealand in relation to the recommendations".
The HRA Executive will consider the Panel's recommendations in the coming months.
The Supplementary Report, which has amended some of the original recommendations, is available by clicking on this link.
For further information please contact Andrew Kelly on 03 9227 3000.


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