Liquor and Gaming NSW

​Minister names racing selection panel

Wednesday October 26, 2011       [PDF,83kb]

The Minister for Racing, George Souris, has today announced the members of the independent selection panel which will make recommendations to the Minister on who should be appointed as members of Racing NSW.

They are former magistrate, David Armati (convenor), former NSW Minister Paul Whelan and former NSW Premier and Federal Minister John Fahey.

"The selection panel is made up of three eminent people of the highest integrity and I have complete confidence in their ability to select the very best applicants for the important positions of Board members of Racing NSW," Mr Souris said.

"The principal responsibility of the selection panel is to make recommendations for the seven people I should appoint to the Board of Racing NSW…with two reserve recommendations…and also who should hold the offices of Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson, with one reserve recommendation.

The reserve recommendations provide the Minister with further names in the event the nominee does not take up the appointment.

"The panel will also make recommendations for the terms of office and in doing so, will consider if staggered terms are appropriate for operational and succession reasons".

Mr Souris said the number of Board members for Racing NSW would increase from five to seven in order to expand the skills base of the body governing thoroughbred racing in NSW.

"It will be the duty of each appointed member of Racing NSW to act in the public interest and in the interest of the horse racing industry as a whole in NSW.

"An independent probity adviser will also be appointed to assist the selection panel in ensuring that all nominees are of the highest integrity and have no conflict of interests".

Mr Souris pointed out that the Act requires the selection panel to assess applicants on their merits and in accordance with the prescribed skills criteria: Experience in a senior administrative role or experience at a senior level in one or more fields of business, finance, law, marketing, technology, commerce, regulatory administration or regulatory enforcement. He noted that the terms of two of the current members of Racing NSW expire on December 17, 2011 and has asked for the panel’s recommendations by that date.

"Thoroughbred racing is a multi-billion dollar industry and a major economic driver for the State and the NSW Government is determined, through Racing NSW, to encourage the very best people to administer and manage the industry".

Mr Armati is Chairman of the Royal Randwick Trustees, Racing Appeals Tribunal, Deputy Chairman of the Casino, Liquor and Gaming Control Authority, holds a law degree from the University of Sydney (1970) and has been a Magistrate of the Local Court of NSW since 1984.

Between 1991 and 2008, Mr Armati was Chairperson of the NSW Licensing Court and Liquor Administration Board. These bodies were a forerunner to the Casino, Liquor and Gaming Control Authority which was established in July 2008.

In that role, Mr Armati gained expertise and experience which is directly relevant to the Authority’s duties.

Mr Armati has been president of the NSW Institute of Magistrates, the Australian Association of Magistrates and the Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Association. He also formed and chaired the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute based in Canada.

The Hon. Paul Whelan
LLB. Mayor of Ashfield 1971 – 1976.
Appointed recently to the Board of the Randwick Racecourse Trustees

Member of the NSW legislative Assembly (Ashfield and Strathfield) 1976 – 2003. Minister of the Crown in various portfolios 1981 – 2003, including Minister for Police 1995 - 2001. Currently a thoroughbred horse breeder and owner of Luskin Park Stud.

The Hon. John Fahey AC
Former Premier of New South Wales and Federal Minister for Finance.
John Fahey is currently the President of the World Anti-Doping Agency. He was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 1984 to 1996 and the federal House of Representatives from 1996 to 2001.

Played a key role in the successful bidding process for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Media: Norm Lipson 0467 734 679