Queensland’s new Racing Appeals Panel announced

Published Thursday, 16 March, 2023 at 04:52 PM

Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing
The Honourable Grace Grace

  • Inaugural members of Racing Appeals Panel announced
  • Panel to commence on 31 March 2023
  • Palaszczuk Government worked closely with racing industry to improve review process

Queensland’s new independent appeals body for the racing industry is set for a strong start with the announcement of former judge Mr Kerry O’Brien AM as chairperson of the inaugural panel.  

The new Racing Appeals Panel is set to commence work on 31 March 2023 and will replace internal reviews made by the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) and the majority of Queensland Civil Administration Tribunal (QCAT) appeals relating to racing stewards’ decisions.

Strengthening the high standards of animal welfare and industry integrity in Queensland’s racing industry, the new panel will provide a quick and accessible way to review stewards’ decisions by a specialist body.

Inaugural Chairperson Kerry O’Brien AM is a former Chief Judge of the Queensland District Court and will bring extensive skills and experience in high level judicial decision-making roles.

His skills and experience will ensure the successful operation of the new panel as it begins considering applications for review.

The panel will feature two Deputy Chairs - Dianne Condon, a Legal Board Member on the Parole Board Queensland with 20 years standing as a lawyer and Peter O’Neill, a barrister with 29 years standing as a lawyer and extensive skills and experience in legal practice and sporting judiciary.

They are joined by Martin Einfeld KC, Juanita Maiden, Darren Guppy, Brian Stewart, Lyndsey Hicks, Daryl Kays, John McCoy OAM, and Edwin Wilkinson to constitute a pool of panel members with expertise across the fields of racing, veterinary science and law.

It is anticipated that the appointment of further members of the panel will be announced soon.

All members of the panel are independent statutory officers appointed by the Governor in Council for a term of three years.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Racing Grace Grace:

“The Palaszczuk Government listened to industry concerns about the current review process and with the establishment of this panel we are delivering a faster, fairer review system that addresses their concerns.

“Our landmark racing integrity reforms in 2016 gave Queensland the best animal welfare and racing integrity body in the nation, and it will now be bolstered by a strong independent appeals body.

“A rigorous recruitment process was undertaken to ensure the best possible people have appointed to this important panel.”

Quote attributable to Racing Queensland Board Member Graham Quirk:

“Queensland is set to have a fair and transparent racing review body under the leadership of Kerry O’Brien.

“The new panel will provide assurance of independent decision making to industry.”

Further information:

  • The panel will initially consist of 11 members - a Chairperson, two Deputy Chairpersons and a pool of eight panel members with expertise across the fields of racing, veterinary science, law and animal chemistry
  • Almost 70 individual, complete applications were received in the recruitment process for the panel


Media contact: Daniel Webb, 0438 401 078