V’landys wants fair crack of whip with NJC members

ANSWERS: Racing NSW boss Peter V’landys. Picture: Kitty HillRACING NSW chief Peter V’landys could be in for a fiery reception when he fronts Newcastle Jockey Club’s annual general meeting on November 27.
Nanjing Night Net

V’landys confirmed yesterday that he would be at the meeting.

He said he wanted to address “scaremongering and misinformation” over the $12 million Racing NSW grant to the Broadmeadow club.

The annual general meeting will start at 6pm.

“I want to put things straight . . . this is not a takeover of the NJC by Racing NSW,” V’landys said.

“I want to let members know that and answer their questions.”

The Racing NSW grant of $12 million for renovating and building on the course proper and B grass has a proviso attached – that Racing NSW has three appointees on a new-look seven-person Newcastle board.

For that to happen, the NJC constitution will have to be changed, and that needs a 75 per cent vote.

“This is not only happening in Newcastle,” V’landys said.

“We have done this all over the state.

“There has been so much scaremongering and misinformation about the money that I have to speak out about it, and the AGM is the perfect place for that.

“The appointment of three representatives on the NJC board is no reflection on the present administrators.

“We feel that this new board set-up would be skill-based.

“We will be looking for the best people in Newcastle from the business world that can help the building program and continued success for the next 20 years at Broadmeadow.

“These might be people who would not be prepared to stand for a public election but are interested in helping the NJC.

“This is a huge project rebuilding two tracks, and we need people that can get it done.

“The point is that the casting vote will be with the NJC, who will have four elected representatives on the board.”

V’landys’s comments came after a meeting this week of NJC members who are against the proposed change to the constitution.

They will present a petition to the NJC today calling for a general meeting to discuss the matter.

More than 50 people attended Tuesday’s meeting.

“The meeting was strong that the changes proposed are against what the club needs right now,” said Richard Davis, who chaired the meeting.

“Given the short time frame to communicate the meeting to the membership of just five days, the co-ordinators were gobsmacked by an attendance in excess of 50.

“Attendees included members, trainers, the press and six members of the NJC board.

“The attendance of 60 per cent of the board could be used as a yardstick to judge the meeting’s credibility.

“The main items on the advertised agenda were pertaining to future change of club governance and the involuntary redundancy of our racing manager, John Curtis,” Davis said.

“These were hot topics taking up all but 15 minutes of the two-hour meeting.”

Davis said the dislike of the “big stick approach” from Racing NSW was “most evident”.

“Is this a takeover in disguise of the NJC by Racing NSW was a question which was asked at the meeting,” Davis said.

Stable Talk, Page 87