Alice Turf Club silent on financial issues


p2325-race-GV-3By ERWIN CHLANDA
Chairman of the Alice Springs Turf Club Craig Lambley (in the centre of the photo at left) has refused to comment on financial issues within the club except to acknowledge they exist and claim they are being dealt with.
The club gets a share of $15m support funding from the NT Government: The involvement of taxpayer’s money moves the issue squarely into the public domain.
Questions about the management of public funds need to be answered, how much money is involved, what are the circumstances of the issues, what is being done about them and who is responsible.
It has been reported that a club employee resigned for personal reasons.
NT Government funds are channelled to the sport through Thoroughbred Racing NT Inc (TRNT) which in 2015 received just over $15m (the organisation does its reporting in calendar years).
Apart from a string of services Thoroughbred Racing NT last year provided to the Alice Springs Turf Club a capital grant of $254,977 and an operational grant of $878,280.
CEO Andrew O’Toole says TRNT is “aware of the issues” but they are in the club’s hands.
It is required to report to TRNT twice a year and the club has complied.
The first report this year, in May or June, was lodged before the “situation” became known and the second one is due before the end of the year, says Mr O’Toole.
He says he is aware the Alice Springs Turf Club is awaiting the report by an auditor.


    That’s right folks – you heard it correctly! Good on Alice Springs News Online for bringing to light these realities.
    (A visit over to Thoroughbred Racing NT’s website ( and you will find it nearly impossible to source the important fact that its existence is underpinned by Taxpayer moneys. Why?)
    However, TRNT does offer the standard platitudes “TRNT is a key employer and contributor to the Territory and national economy”.
    So what about some serious statistics and reporting back to NT Taxpayers? Wouldn’t it be great to get some kind of breakdown regarding what this $15m actually provides to Territorians? What type of multiplier effect does this $15m have for local economies?
    How about a visitation breakdown of local, interstate and international visitors? You know, all that standard reporting that everybody else receiving taxpayer funds has to do in the NT?
    Or is the whole industry just a glitzy self indulgent false economy?
    I’ll take a punt that no-one will have the guts to make a serious response to these simple and obvious questions.
    Anyway, it looks at least that our local club will need to take a good hard look at itself this year – let’s hope we get more than buck passing.
    Imagine if a really good look was taken at TRNT …
    Come on ICAC! Come on ICAC! Get up you good thing!

  2. About time this is thoroughly looked into, a massive amount of public funding which supports only a few.
    It’s ridiculous. The same few people own the race horses, therefore receive the prize money, and only maybe three full time workers at the ASTC?


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