The Annual General Meeting of the ATA South Australian Branch was held Tuesday 26 September, and I am pleased to provide an update on several key matters discussed at the meeting:
ATA SOUTH AUSTRALIAN BRANCH COMMITTEE
The recent Committee elections for the SA Branch delivered two new faces, with Chris Bieg and Jon O’Connor joining the Committee. Richard Jolly was re-elected as President, with Gordon Richards taking on the role of Vice-President, and Leon Macdonald, Phillip Stokes and Gary Searle filling the remaining positions. Richard Jolly thanked and acknowledged outgoing Committee members Dan Clarken and Lloyd Kennewell for their contributions.
PRIZEMONEY PAID WEEKLY TO TRAINERS
Following the recent $1.5 million boost to all levels of SA prizemoney from September 1, the ATA has obtained TRSA agreement for the introduction of a weekly prizemoney payment system for SA from December 1. This ATA initiative, the result of sustained lobbying, will greatly benefit Trainers with their cash flows. The ATA acknowledges TRSA and their Chief Operating Officer Nick Redin in particular, for their co-operation in supporting this important change.
Morphettville Track Fees
The SAJC has agreed to re-align Morphettville Track Fee increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), following an ATA request to review Track Fees and the fee structure imposed in early 2016 for the 2016-2019 period. Under the revised structure, Track Fees increase by 8 cents this racing year, and by CPI for 2018/2019, as opposed to the much greater increase (15% each year) endorsed by the then 2016 SAJC committee of administration.
In addition, agreement on extended trading terms was reached to allow trainers to pay their Track Fees. The ATA acknowledges and appreciates the assistance from the current SAJC Committee, and in particular, Bodelle Francis (SAJC Chairperson) and Rob Heinjus (SAJC Manager, Racing & Facilities), supporting these changes for the benefit of Trainers.
New SAJC Chief Executive
The SAJC has appointed Grant Mayer, an experienced sports administrator, to the position of Chief Executive of the SAJC (to commence in late October), with Bodelle Francis continuing in the role of Chairperson. The SAJC has undergone significant change in leadership in the last 12 months, and the ATA looks forward to working constructively with the new management team.
MORPHETTVILLE ON-COURSE STABLING
The SAJC provided the AGM with an update on the proposal to build on-course stabling at Morphettville. The SAJC declared its support for the project, subject to a feasibility study being completed in the near future.
RACING.COM COVERAGE OF SA RACING
The Racing.com coverage of SA Racing commenced August 1, following the thoroughbred racing channel securing SA Racing vision rights. The Racing.com coverage gives SA Racing, Trainers and Jockeys significant opportunities to promote themselves both locally and to a national audience. At the AGM, TRSA Chief Executive Jim Watters thanked SA Trainers for making the SA coverage on Racing.com a success. It is expected SA wagering revenue will increase steadily as the Racing.com coverage consolidates, which will in turn contribute to a healthier financial foundation for SA Racing and its participants.
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Chief Executive Officer