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Executive summary

It is with pleasure that I present the Racing Penalties Appeal Tribunal Annual Report for the year ended 30 June 2023.

The Tribunal has experienced significant changes to its membership during the reporting period. Former Chairperson, Karen Farley SC, resigned on 31 July 2022 to take up her appointment as Chairperson to the Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) Board. Karen was first appointed to the Tribunal in March 1997 and was appointed Chairperson in March 2018. Karen’s dedicated support and leadership of the racing industry in Western Australia has been invaluable. The Tribunal wish her all the best in her endeavours.

Special mention should also be made of Brenda Robbins, who resigned on 26 August 2022. Brenda was first appointed to the Tribunal in March 2018 I thank her for her work and dedication to the Tribunal over the years. The Tribunal also welcomed two new members, Phillip Gleeson and Natalie Sinton, who were appointed in August 2022. I would personally like to thank the Tribunal members for their support over the last year and their commitment and dedication to their role.

I also thank the State Administrative Tribunal for the continued use of their facilities to conduct hearings. Their ability, flexibility and willingness to cater to our needs is greatly appreciated.

Finally, I wish to thank the staff of the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) for the provision of executive services. Their dedication, professionalism and commitment ensuring the Tribunal continues to meet its corporate, financial and legal obligations, are vital to the ongoing effective operations of the Tribunal.

Robert Nash
19 September 2023

Operational structure

Enabling legislation

The Racing Penalties Appeal Tribunal (the 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 2023, the Minister responsible for the Racing and Gaming Portfolio was the Hon. Reece Whitby MLA, Minister for Environment; Climate Action; Racing and Gaming.

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 (the DLGSC). The DLGSC recoups the cost of providing these services from the Tribunal through a service level agreement, 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 2023, the Tribunal consisted of five members, namely:

Mr Robert Nash - Chairperson

Mr Nash was appointed chairperson in August 2022. 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 Andrew Monisse has served as member of the Racing Penalties Appeal Tribunal of Western Australia since February 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 April 1997 he commenced serving in the ADF as a member of the Perth Legal Panel of the RAAF Specialist Reserve, and since September 2006 has held the rank of Squadron Leader. In July 2000 Mr Monisse commenced his practice as a barrister, where he has since October 2000 been a member of the WA Bar Association. Mr Monisse practises predominantly in Criminal Law at Quarry Chambers.

Ms Johanna Overmars

Ms Johanna Overmars, was appointed to the Tribunal in March 2018. Ms Overmars holds a Bachelor or Laws and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame Australia. Ms Overmars was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of WA in 2005. Ms Overmars has had a varied career working for Legal Aid Western Australia, Women’s Legal Service WA and in private practice in the areas of Family Law, Criminal Law and Restraining Orders. Ms Overmars ran her own firm, Hills Hope Legal Pty Ltd in Mundaring for 6 years, until closing it to have her family. She currently works at Frichot Lawyers where she practices in the Wills and Estates and Family Law teams. Ms Overmars is a horse owner, who has a keen interest in horsemanship.

Mr Phillip Gleeson

Phillip Gleeson was appointed to the Tribunal in 2022. Phillip is a founding Director of Percy Kakulas Gleeson Injury Lawyers. He specialises in all aspects of plaintiff litigation, advocacy and advice across medical negligence, historical sexual abuse, work and industrial accidents and disease, motor vehicle accidents, product liability, and superannuation and group insurance claims. He is listed by the prestigious Doyles Guide as a leading lawyer for work injury compensation nationally as well as in WA, and for medical negligence, motor vehicle accident and public liability compensation in WA.

Ms Natalie Sinton

Natalie Sinton was appointed to the Tribunal in 2022. Natalie completed a Bachelor of Science and Master of Forensic Science before graduating with a Bachelor of Laws with Honours in 2007. Natalie was a Judge’s Associate at the Court of Appeal for two years before commencing as a solicitor in the Criminal Law Division at Legal Aid in 2010, initially in the Duty Lawyer team. In 2012 Natalie joined the Criminal Appeals team, where she remains to this day. Natalie was the Secretary of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association from 2015 to 2019 and is an accredited mediator.

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
  • State Supply Commission Act 1991
Page reviewed 11 September 2023