Gold Coast Turf Club turf wars
Gold Coast Turf Club members angry at the dumping of former chairman Hoss Heinrich are seeking to have last week’s elections overturned.
A petition bearing 150 signatures, or five per cent of the club’s membership which is required under the constitution to force another election, is expected to be finalised within days.
Heinrich led last week’s election count but was later narrowly deposed as chairman when the new board met for the first time following the club’s annual general meeting.
The announcement of Andrew Eggleston, brother of Gold Coast trainer Mel Eggleston, as the new chairman was greeted with boos and disbelief by some members attending the AGM.
The new committee also elected Brett Cook as deputy chairman and racecaller Steve Hawkins as treasurer along with solicitor Jeff Garrett, all members of the Racing First Ticket headed by Eggleston.
They replaced deputy chairman Larry Klinge, who lost his position, and the board’s only female member Yvonne Smith who was overthrown as treasurer.
Many Gold Coast trainers have thrown their support behind Heinrich while other members are angry over reports the new board planned to sack club chief executive John Cameron.
Members also are furious following reports that the Eggleston-led board planned to combine selected administrative duties with the Brisbane Racing Club (BRC).
Heinrich has vigorously denied another report that he was prepared to entertain an approach from QRL to carry out extensive work at the track in exchange for a sale of the facility to the control body.
Former Moonee Valley committeeman Christopher Steer, who is a long-time member at the club, will contest the "new" board if fresh elections are called.
Steer served for six years on the Moonee Valley committee.
"I’ve been asked to stand before but declined but I can no longer stand by and watch the Gold Coast club be butchered," Steer said.
"None of these massive changes they (new directors) have announced, like merging parts of marketing with the BRC, were in their election material.
"How can you go to your major competitor for Saturday race dollars and ask them to act on your behalf and in your best interests?
"It’s naive in the extreme and shows a lack of experience."
By Glenn Davis