Jenny - Clean

RACING Queensland has been plunged into turmoil after deputy chairman Barry Taylor quit the board following a bitter feud with chairman Kevin Dixon over transparency of boardroom decision-making.

DANIEL MEERS reports in THE COURIER MAIL that the resignation is a major blow to the Newman government who cleaned out Racing Queensland and launched an inquiry into the actions of the previous board which saw former chairman Bob Bentley, Labor powerbroker Bill Ludwig and eight others referred to ASIC.

Last week board members were sent a directive to close corporate betting accounts because of probity issues with the multi-billion TAB deal which is being negotiated.

The Courier-Mail can reveal Mr Taylor and Mr Dixon had multiple boardroom stoushes in recent months and shared a cold relationship.

Racing Queensland has an over-arching All Codes board as well as separate boards for the thoroughbreds, greyhound and harness-racing codes.

It is understood there is a growing perception among some board members that a “kitchen cabinet” has formed of exclusive directors and senior executives who are making significant decisions without widespread consultation.

That claim has been denied by Racing Queensland.

BETS OFF: Racing Queensland told to close betting accounts


Mr Dixon, with the backing of Racing Minister Steve Dickson, has blocked out the majority of the board from the negotiation process in the TAB deal.

There was speculation last night that more resignations could follow later in the week.

When contacted last night Mr Taylor confirmed he had quit the board but would not comment on the circumstances surrounding his resignation.

“I have no comment to make,’’ he said.

The relationship between Mr Taylor and Mr Dixon was so strained Racing Queensland chief executive Darren Condon issued a statement on the organisation’s behalf instead of Mr Dixon.

“Mr Taylor is passionate about the racing industry and I would like to acknowledge his service to the organisation as the board’s Deputy Chairperson,” Mr Condon said.

“Racing Queensland wishes Mr Taylor all the best. There is no doubt his knowledge and experience will continue to be an asset to the industry.”

The bombshell comes in the middle of the Queensland Winter Carnival.

Mr Dickson declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding the resignation. He has distanced himself from the board in recent weeks.

When contacted about probity issues surrounding the TAB deal last week, Mr Dickson referred The Courier-Mail to a letter from a firm who had investigated the matter and cleared the board.

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