Page title


Executive summary

It is with pleasure that I present the Annual Report of the Racing Penalties Appeal Tribunal for the year ended 30 June 2022.

The Racing Penalty Appeals Tribunal (the Tribunal) continues to provide a valuable service to the WA racing community by ensuring industry confidence in the enforcement of the various racing rules by providing an impartial judicial forum for the hearing of appeals.

During the year, two appeals were carried over from the previous reporting period, and 10 new appeals were lodged with the Tribunal. Of these, 10 were determined and two were carried over to the 2022-23 financial year.

The Tribunal has undergone substantial changes to its membership, in particular, the departure of Ms Karen Farley as Chairperson and Mr Patrick Hogan as a long-standing member.

In June 2022, Ms Farley, a member of the Tribunal since 1997 and chairperson since 2018, accepted the position of chairperson of the Racing and Wagering Western Australia Board to take effect from 31 July 2022. The Tribunal will certainly miss Karen’s expertise and contribution and her enthusiasm and dedication to her role were much admired by members. I am sure she will excel in her new role, and I wish her all the best in this endeavour.

Mr Patrick Hogan, who has been a valued member of the Tribunal since its commencement in March 1992, resigned in May 2022 as he is entering retirement. Patrick’s careful and insightful consideration of appeals will be greatly missed.

Ms Zoe Gilders term expired in December 2021, and I thank her for her contributions to the Tribunal and wish her well in her future endeavours.

I take this opportunity to thank members for their invaluable contribution to the efficient operation of the Tribunal. They continue to give their time and expertise willingly in discharging their responsibilities and coping with the workload.

On behalf of the Tribunal, I also thank the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries for its ongoing provision of executive services, and the State Administrative Tribunal for permitting the Tribunal to use its facilities. It would not be possible for the Tribunal to conduct its activities without this invaluable support.

Robert Nash
31 October 2022

Operational structure

Enabling legislation

The Racing Penalties Appeal Tribunal is established under the Racing Penalties (Appeals) Act 1990 (the Act). The Tribunal was established to confer jurisdiction in respect to appeals against penalties imposed in disciplinary proceedings arising from, or in relation to, the conduct of thoroughbred racing, harness racing and greyhound racing, and for related purposes.

Responsible Minister

As of 30 June 2022, the Minister responsible for the Racing and Gaming Portfolio was the Hon Dr Tony Buti, MLA, Minister for Finance; Aboriginal Affairs; Racing and Gaming; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests.

Purpose of the Tribunal

The aim of the Act is to create and maintain industry confidence in the enforcement of the various racing rules by providing an impartial judicial forum for the hearing of appeals.

Executive support for the Tribunal is provided by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC). The DLGSC recoups the cost of providing these services from the Tribunal, which is funded by Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA).

Appeals which may be heard by the Tribunal

A person who is aggrieved by a determination of RWWA, a steward or a committee of a racing club may appeal to the Tribunal within 14 days of the determination date. The Tribunal can hear the following matters:

  • the imposition of any suspension or disqualification, whether of a runner or of a person;
  • the imposition of a fine; or
  • the giving of a notice of the kind commonly referred to as a “warning-off”.

Additionally, the Tribunal may grant leave to appeal in relation to a limited range of other matters.

Appeals which are outside the jurisdiction of the Tribunal

The jurisdiction of the Tribunal does not extend to a determination of a steward, a racing club, or a committee in matters regarding:

  • any protest or objection against a placed runner arising out of any incident occurring during the running of a race;
  • the eligibility of a runner to take part in, or the conditions under which a runner takes part in, any race; or
  • any question or dispute as to a bet.

These matters are dealt with by RWWA.

Determination of appeals


The Tribunal is required to hear and determine an appeal based on the evidence of the original hearing but may allow new evidence to be given or experts to be called to assist in its deliberations.

When determining an appeal, the Tribunal may make the following orders:

  • refund or repayment of any stakes paid in respect of a race to which the appeal relates;
  • refer the matter to RWWA, the stewards or the committee of the appropriate racing club for rehearing;
  • confirm, vary, or set aside the determination or finding appealed against or any order or penalty imposed to which it relates;
  • recommend or require that RWWA, the stewards or the committee of the appropriate racing club, take further action in relation to any person; and
  • such other orders as the member presiding may think proper.

Decisions of the Tribunal are final and binding.

Organisational structure

Sections 5 and 6 of the Act provide that the Tribunal shall consist of a Chairperson and a panel of members, each appointed by the Minister. The Schedule to the Act specifies terms of appointment shall not exceed three years, with eligibility for reappointment. The Tribunal, constituted by the Chairperson (or the Acting Chairperson or member presiding) and two members sitting together hear appeals. An appeal may be heard by the Chairperson, Acting Chairperson or member presiding sitting alone where the Regulations so provide.

As of 30 June 2022, the Tribunal consisted of five members, namely:

Ms Karen Farley SC — Chairperson

Ms Karen Farley was appointed Chairperson in March 2018. Ms Farley holds a Bachelor of Jurisprudence and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Western Australia (UWA). She is a Senior Appeals Consultant at Legal Aid WA.

Ms Farley has taught at UWA, Notre Dame and Murdoch University law schools. She has held positions on many government and non-government Boards and Committees. She has served on the Council of Management of St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls for 15 years and was Chair of Council for seven years. Currently she is an elected member of the Shire of Peppermint Grove. From 2000 to 2006 she was Supervising Solicitor of the Unrepresented Criminal Appellants Scheme (UCAS), an innovative forensic legal skills programme initially operated from UWA Law School which gave law students the opportunity to assist otherwise unrepresented litigants prepare and present their case in the Court of Criminal Appeal.

In 2011, Women Lawyers of WA named her as Senior Lawyer of the year. In December 2013, she was appointed Senior Counsel for and in the State of Western Australia.

Mr Robert Nash

Mr Nash was appointed to the Tribunal in March 1997. He is a Barrister admitted as a Practitioner of the Supreme Court of Western Australia and the High Court of Australia, and a General Public Notary. Mr Nash has, during the course of his career, served in a non-executive capacity on several Councils, Committees, and charitable and non-charitable Boards, including Chairman of Australian Silica Quartz Group Limited, Councillor for the Town of Mosman Park, Chairman of the WA Soccer Disciplinary Tribunal, Council Member of the Law Society of WA,

Convenor of the Education Committee of the Law Society of WA, Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission into the City of Wanneroo, Member of the Professional Conduct Committee and Ethics Committee of the Law Society of WA, Head of the WA Legal Panel of the Royal Australian Navy, and Council Member of the WA Bar Association Council.

Mr Andrew Monisse

Mr Monisse was appointed to the Tribunal in March 1997. He was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Western Australia in December 1990 after completing articles at Mallesons Stephen Jaques. Mr Monisse’s employment experience has included working as a Solicitor assisting counsel assisting at the WA Inc Royal Commission in 1991 and as a Prosecutor for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions in the Perth office from 1992 to 1998. In July 2000, Mr Monisse commenced his practice as a Barrister. Since October 2000, he has been a member of the WA Bar Association. In April 1997, he commenced serving in the Australian Defence Force as a RAAF Specialist Reserve Legal Officer. Since September 2006 he has held the rank of Squadron Leader. Mr Monisse practises in Criminal Law and other areas of law at Quarry Chambers.

Ms Brenda Robbins

Ms Brenda Robbins practices as a Barrister and Mediator at Murray Chambers in a variety of areas of law. Prior to her legal career she held a number of CEO and senior executive positions in Western Australian Government agencies. She has served on numerous Boards, including the Senate of the University of Western Australia, the Legal Aid Commission, Keystart Loans Ltd and the Australian Institute of Management (including a term as President). She is currently the Chair of the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board and a member of its Audit and Risk Committee. She is a Trustee of the Scholarships Trust of Graduate Women WA Inc. Brenda holds a Juris Doctor (High Dist.), BA (Econs), Graduate Certificate in Australian Migration Law and Practice and is a Graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD). Brenda is a Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and a Fellow of the AICD.

Ms Johanna Overmars

Ms Johanna Overmars, Barrister and Solicitor, graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2003 with degrees in Law and Arts. Ms Overmars was admitted in 2005 after completing her articles as an Associate at the Family Court of WA and at Legal Aid WA. She has practiced in the areas of family and criminal law and set up her own firm Hills Hope Legal Pty Ltd in May 2013, which closed in 2019 as she commenced maternity leave. She currently works at Frichot Lawyers where she specialises in wills and estates. Ms Overmars is a horse owner, who has studied horsemanship for many years. She previously undertook volunteer work with a horse rescue organisation.

Administered legislation

The Tribunal is responsible for administering the Racing Penalties (Appeals) Act 1990.

Other legislation impacting Tribunal activities

The Tribunal complied with the following relevant written laws in the performance of its functions:

  • Auditor General Act 2006;
  • Corruption and Crime Commission Act 2003;
  • Disability Services Act 1993;
  • Electoral Act 1907;
  • Equal Opportunity Act 1984;
  • Electronic Transactions Act 2003;
  • Financial Management Act 2006;
  • Freedom of Information Act 1992;
  • Industrial Relations Act 1979;
  • Public Interest Disclosure Act 2003;
  • Public Sector Management Act 1994;
  • Salaries and Allowances Act 1975;
  • State Records Act 2000; and
  • State Supply Commission Act 1991.
Page reviewed 11 September 2023