Jockeying for NJC board positions

THERE was a late rush to the post yesterday afternoon in the race for a spot on the Newcastle Jockey Club board of directors.

Not long before nominations closed at 4pm yesterday two new nominations were received.

Alan Walker, who has stood twice, officially placed his nomination with the NJC at 3.40pm. David Girvan also became an official nomination at 3.30pm.

Ballots will be cast on November 27 at 6pm, at the annual general meeting.

Long-serving director Allen Hardes did not seek re-election.

That means there will be 11 people trying to get a spot on the 10-person board.

Givan, who works in the banking industry, is also involved in Rotary.

Walker was the responsible serving of alcohol consultant with the NJC for many years.

"Last full election I was beaten in a draw from the hat for a spot on the board," Walker said.

"I was then beaten at a bi-election. I know I have something to offer racing in Newcastle.

"I really thank the members that have supported me in the past, and that is why I am trying again.

"I have the motivation to stand again because I am determined to make a difference."

This year's annual general meeting will be the most important in the history of the NJC.

Members will be asked to vote for a change of governance in the constitution to allow three appointees from Racing NSW and four elected members to form a new NJC board.

A 75 per cent yes vote is needed for the change.

Racing NSW chief Peter V'landys has signalled this as a vital part of the $12 million grant to the NJC for track renovations.

This has caused massive discussion and upheaval within the ranks of the NJC membership.

V'landys told the Newcastle Herald last week that he would attend the NJC AGM to reveal the full plans of his organisation for Broadmeadow.

He said he wanted to dispel "scandal mongering and misinformation" that he claimed was being spread about the loan.

A strong group of NJC members have said they wanted self-management to be retained for the club. NJC chief executive Cameron Williams said yesterday that a special board meeting would be held on Friday to discuss the matter.

"We will ratify a date for a special meeting of members to discuss the matter," Williams said.

"At this stage it looks like being held on November 7.

"We want to give members the chance to hear what is planned and let them air their thoughts before the full board."

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