Investigation into the integrity of Tasmanian racing

Latest News – Tasmanian Government decides to abolish the Office of Racing Integrity (the government regulator) – Premier’s news release

In September 2021, the then Tasmanian Minister for Racing Jane Howlett announced a review of the Tasmanian racing industry.

The Minister framed the investigation as a review of the state’s racing laws. However,  it is far more likely to be a reaction to a string of ongoing issues with Tasracing and the Tasmanian Office of Racing Integrity (ORI). Unusually, no terms of reference have been provided for the review.

In September 2021, the Tasmanian Racing Club, Tasmanian Trotting Club and the Hobart Greyhound Racing Club stated that if the review was limited to the Racing Act 2004, it would not “deliver the transformative structural change that the Tasmanian Racing Industry so desperately needs”.


"It’s abundantly clear that Tasracing and the ORI are incapable of properly regulating the industry.”
Andrew Wilkie MP
(pictured with Fran Chambers of Let Greyhounds Run Free)

Key points

A taxpayer-funded industry

A 2020 report produced by the Tasmanian Department of Treasury and Finance stated that government funding for the Tasmanian racing industry is more than double any other Australian jurisdiction. The industry receives a minimum of $27 million a year as part of a 20 year contract between the two bodies agreed in 2009. Despite this, Tasracing reported a loss of $3.92 million over the 2019/2020 financial year.

In late September 2021, Minister for Racing Howlett stated that “more than 5,500 Tasmanians are either employed in the industry or are direct participants”. However,  the Treasury and Finance report showed that according to the most recent ABS census data (2016), 181 people derived their main income from the industry which equates to 0.08 percent of the Tasmanian workforce.

* Source: Tasmanian Treasury Report
+ Government funding data is not available for WA and NT

How the Tasmanian Government is failing greyhounds

Leading animal welfare organisations recognise that the only way to protect Tasmanian greyhounds from unnecessary suffering and death is a ban on greyhound racing. In the interim, RSPCA Tasmania, CPG, Let Greyhounds Run Free and Independent MP Andrew Wilkie call on the Tasmanian Minister for Racing to conduct a truly independent inquiry into all aspects, procedural and operational, of both Tasracing and the Office of Racing Integrity.
Greyhound advocates also call on the Minister for Racing and the Tasmanian Government to implement the following best practice animal welfare protections.
"We will keep working to stop these senseless deaths. It is clear that there are significant and entrenched animal welfare problems inherent in the greyhound racing industry."
Jan Davis, CEO, RSPCA Tasmania
on the death of Action Plus, the second greyhound to die on the Hobart racetrack in one week.