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Animal Welfare, Race Fixing Allegations Piled Up on Ogilvie’s Watch

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 11 May 2023

Tags: Horse Racing, Office of Racing Integrity, Animal Rights

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

RTI documents received by the Greens last night – despite Minister Ogilvie’s department’s attempt to delay their release – reveal 19 complaints have been made to the Office of Racing Integrity about harness trainer, Ben Yole.

The first of the allegations raised, about race fixing no less, was received way back in 2016.
17 of the complaints were lodged with ORI before the ABC did the government’s job of investigating Ben Yole and exposed his cruelty-dependent operation.
Over the last seven years, allegation after allegation came into ORI about Mr Yole, yet nothing happened. In fact, 15 of the 19 complaints made to ORI were received in Madeleine Ogilvie’s time as Minister for Racing.
The allegations made were about the same issues exposed by the ABC, and that are now the subject of the Murrihy review – animal cruelty, team driving and potential corruption within the industry.

The majority of those complaints were made while Ms Ogilvie was allegedly overseeing this industry.
When we raised these matters in question time this morning, the Minister once again waxed lyrical about her commitment to industry participants. The very same people whose complaints it appeared she and her department allowed to pile up, then apparently investigated and found nothing to see here.
The Minister has the ultimate responsibility here, and it’s about time she acknowledged her role, and failure to act to strengthen integrity and the welfare of animals in the industry.