On the way out . . . Coffs Harbour Racing Club chairwoman Polly Wilson
On the way out . . . Coffs Harbour Racing Club chairwoman Polly Wilson

Resignations leave racing club in turmoil


COFFS HARBOUR Racing Club is again in turmoil with the sudden resignation of chairwoman Polly Wilson and two other directors.

Ms Wilson, Janene Glenn and Christine Cameron ? the first women to ever serve on the board ? stepped down in controversial circumstances at a committee meeting on Wednesday night.

It is understood their grievance centres around allegations the club's administrators, who were at the meeting, were not lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

The chairman of the Nambucca River Jockey Club (NRJC), Greg Doolan, and his treasurer, Perry McNally, were appointed as administrators last May on behalf of the NRJC amid a financial crisis.

A statement issued late yesterday by the three women said, in part: "The chairman of NSW Racing, Mr Gary Pemberton, has been advised in writing of (the) resignations together with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

"The ex-directors will not be making any further comment until such time as they have been notified by the relevant authorities," the statement said.

Ms Wilson's position is a major turnaround from that of last week when she said the administrators were doing a 'fantastic' job and could stay as long as they liked.

Mr Doolan said yesterday he was not going to comment.

"We were appointed as administrators under the Thoroughbred Racing Board (TRB) Act and we have acted in good faith," Mr Doolan said.

Mr Doolan told the Coffs Coast Advocate last year the appointment of administrators was under the rules of racing, and not the Corporations Act.

Racing NSW general manager (industry), Brian Judd, said yesterday the question of whether or not the administrators were lodged with ASIC was something his organisation had not pursued.

"They were appointed administrators under the TRB Act by Racing NSW," Mr Judd said.

"Our advice is their powers to act as administrators was through the TRB Act.

"I'm reasonably confident that when these three persons came onto the board of the club, they would have been well aware of the situation.

"We're well satisfied with the progress the administrators have made in reversing the financial predicament of the club.

"We'd like to see the club continue to make the progress it has to date under the administrators."

Coffs Harbour Racing Club chief executive officer, Martin Henderson, who has previously announced he will be leaving on March 4, said yesterday he would not be making a statement.

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