Go for compo

WELL-KNOWN racing identity Gordon Yorke believes pony clubs, riding schools and show people should be the ones seeking legal compensation for damages due to last year's Equine Influenza outbreak.

"All those people were forgotten, drowned out by the racing industry, but they suffered just as much," the Coffs Harbour horse trainer said.

"Racing got looked after quite well, but those poor people didn't."

Mr Yorke was commenting on the legal fallout expected following the release of former High Court judge Ian Callinan's report into the EI outbreak on Wednesday.

The report concluded that bungling by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) had resulted in the spread of the disease.

In his report Mr Callinan described the organisation responsible for protecting the Australian population from imported pests and diseases, as "ignorant, inefficient and incompetent" in its failure to do its job.

CEO of the Coffs Harbour Racing Club, Russ Atkinson, said the club was waiting for advice from Racing NSW before making any decisions.

"We'll look at what they recommend and see what the best options are," Mr Atkinson said.

"We did lose a considerable amount of money.

"We cancelled three open meetings as a result of EI."

Mr Atkinson said the report meant there was an opportunity for a lot of individuals to look at the compensation they received and what inequities there were.

Others associated with the horse industry locally were not rushing into any legal action.

Lynda Rieder of Horsing Around Riding Centre at Bucca said they were affected but were not considering legal action at this stage.

"We are on private land, so we were OK but people assumed horse-riding had been shut down and we lost a lot of tourist business," Ms Rieder said.

Laurie Kane of Bellingen's Fairytale Tours said the hardship grants supplied had been sufficient to keep their business afloat.

"It was certainly a great inconvenience but I don't think it's necessary to get involved in any class action."


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