Minister withholds Greyhound Inquiry costs

27 Aug 2015 11:48 AMJann Stuckey

The Palaszczuk Labor Government has again displayed its incompetence and lack of transparency by refusing to reveal significant costs associated with the greyhound inquiry.

Shadow Minister for Sport and Racing, Jann Stuckey MP said unchecked cost blow-outs in the greyhound inquiry have exposed a total lack of accountability by Racing Minister Bill Byrne.

“Revelations of live baiting practices in the greyhound racing industry sickened all Queenslanders and had to be investigated and stopped,” Ms Stuckey said.

“From the outset it was stated this inquiry would cost approximately $3 million however during Estimates hearings last week, the Minister and the interim CEO of Racing Queensland were asked to provide a written response on how this figure is broken down by Wednesday 26 August.

“The response we received back from the Minister fails to address key questions about the funding continuing the uncertainty surrounding the finances of inquiry.

“In particular the response failed to provide costings for the money spent on security guards tasked with supervising large numbers of seized greyhounds and the cost of the dog’s care.

“The Minister’s response only disclosed the cost of $220,000 for security guards up to 30 June 2015, but security continued a further two months until 23 August which the Minister has failed to report.

“Overall costs for the care of greyhounds in the four lodges, which could number hundreds of dogs requiring care for over 200 days, were not supplied at all.

“In addition, Minister Byrne would not reveal the budget for appointing Interim CEO of Racing Queensland Ian Hall, stating that the remuneration amount would be posted on the Department of Housing and Public Works website in due course.

“Newspaper reports have estimated Mr Hall’s remuneration to be in the vicinity of $20,000 per week, adding up to a hefty sum since June with it likely to extend to March 2016.

“Minister Byrne is deliberately withholding information and considering it is part of the Estimates process this is a disgraceful abuse of power.

“Whilst the Minister is hell-bent on tarnishing the reputation of previous racing boards he is hiding costs associated with this inquiry.”

[ENDS] 27 August 2015