ATA Victorian Branch – Members Update / Victoria / 12 Jan, 2010


Trainers should be aware that the new Horse and Greyhound Training Award (the Modern Award) came into effect on January 1, 2010. A copy of the new Award and Wage Rates has been posted to all ATA Members.

The Modern Award is the new award that will apply to trainers and their employees, an Australian Government’s initiative to review and rationalise awards to create a Modern Award System. As part of this process, the Australian Industrial Relations Commission was required to review Pre-Reform Awards and Notional Agreements Preserving State Awards applying to particular industries and occupations, and replace those earlier awards with Modern Awards.

The ordinary hours of work for employees covered by the Modern Award is 38 hours per week, to be worked within rostered hours in 5 full days, or 4 full days and 2 half days, Monday to Saturday.

The minimum weekly wages payable to employees is set out in Clause 13 of the Modern Award, which has been sent out to all Members by the ATA. For some trainers, the minimum weekly wages specified in the Modern Award may be slightly higher than those currently paid.

Schedule A of the Modern Award contains transitional provisions in respect of the amount of wages payable to employees if employees have previously been paid pursuant to a “transitional minimum wage instrument and/or an award based transitional instrument”.

Rates of pay calculated pursuant to Schedule A of the Modern Award are specific to each trainer. It will not apply to many trainers. Trainers therefore should first seek advice if they wish to pay wages calculated in accordance with Schedule A. The application of the provisions in Schedule A may result in trainers paying an amount of wages slightly less than the minimum weekly wage specified in clause 13 of the Modern Award, but trainers should be aware of ongoing obligations to adjust those weekly wages on a yearly basis until 2013.

Any trainers seeking clarification of any aspects of the new Horse and Greyhound Training Award are advised to contact the ATA Industrial Relations Manager Wayne Lee at the ATA Head Office on (03) 9372 1688.


Following representations by the ATA and VJA, RVL has agreed to conduct a review into the staging of twilight race meetings in Victoria.

The ATA’s concerns centre on the staging of twilight race meetings at racetracks which are at the more distant areas within the State and result in stable staff, trainers, jockeys and apprentices not returning home until very late in the night. This also creates OH&S problems with stablehands, apprentices and track riders and places trainers under further pressure.

Both the ATA and VJA have also raised the issue of what benefits, if any, are delivered to the Victorian racing industry from the staging of twilight race meetings at some of these venues, specifically in relation to turnover and attendances.


RVL has agreed to implement a more effective communications program to keep trainers and track riders better informed and reminded of the Australian Rules of Racing - AR 81A and AR 81B, relating to the random testing of track riders.

Both Rules have been in place nationally for some seven years and were highlighted recently following penalties imposed by RVL Stewards and upheld by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board on three track riders in Victoria.

All three riders penalised were found to have exceeded the 0.02% alcohol level for track riders, specified under AR 81B, and which is the national workplace standard.

The ATA has notified all members of their obligations as employers to ensure that track riders are aware of and comply with AR 81B.

RVL has agreed to examine the feasibility of erecting appropriate signage at training centres reminding track riders, trainers and staff of the 0.02% alcohol level.


A review of the proposal to reduce the gap between races to 30 minutes from the present 35+ minutes will be conducted by a national race times sub-committee. The sub-committee will examine the feasibility of introducing the change and avoiding clashes in starting times with races in different states, which would then impact on both SKY and TVN commitments to broadcast all races in each State.

RVL has been conducting a trial of 30 minute gaps between races on each Tuesday since mid 2009 and will also investigate extending this trial to each Monday, pending the outcome of the national review of race times. The impact on wagering and TAB turnover in each State will also be monitored.