The $12m Darwin Turf Club Grandstand.

Long-time Darwin Turf Club member Craig Trezise, who joined the board in May 2022, has been appointed chairperson after Richard O’Sullivan stepped down. Current Board Members Donna Murray and Ainslie Corridon were voted on to the extended executive panel as Vice Chairperson and Deputy Vice Chairperson respectively.

New members, Tony Morgan and Anthony Schuman, also join the 10-member board whilst Phil Grice and Leanne Evans were voted in by the Turf Club membership base after standing again as part of their casual vacancy roles they had been filling.

Craig Trezise replaces Richard O’Sullivan as chairperson of Darwin Turf Club.

“I’d like to pass on my thanks to our former Chairperson Richard O’Sullivan in stabilising and overseeing a cohesive and forward-thinking board,” Trezise said.

“I now look forward to delivering upon several exciting projects earmarked to further enhance our racing product for both industry and our members whilst providing a fantastic customer experience in the coming years for our general racing public.”

The club had been in turmoil for several years after facing a call from the Northern Territory Government to repay a $12 million grant it received for its new grandstand following ICAC Commissioner Ken Fleming’s findings of “improper conduct” in its funding.

The grandstand contract, completed in 2019, was awarded to then-club chair Brett Dixon’s company, Jaytex Construction, which was later the subject of the ICAC investigation. Former NT chief minister Michael Gunner and then Racing Minister Natasha Fyles boycotted Cup Carnival meets and had issued calls to recoup the $12m used to build the new grandstand. While the NT Government did not end up recalling the funding, it did divert $6m away from the Fannie Bay club to provincial venues instead.

Local businessman Trezise, a born-and-bred Territorian, replaces O’Sullivan who came in at the end of 2021 in place of Dixon.

Trezise praised the efforts of O’Sullivan in pulling the club through those recent tough times and said he was looking forward to leading the club towards a brighter future. That future includes a master plan that will see the club fully utilise its 43ha site.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *