The $12m Darwin Turf Club Grandstand.

The rout at Darwin Turf Club officials continues with deputy vice-chairman Allen Fanning, life member and racing identity Barry Coulter and Louise De Bomford-Scott all resigning from the board at the Annual General Meeting this week. They have been replaced by turf club members Ainslie Corridon and Craig Trezise, with the casual vacancy remaining open.

The club still faces a call from the Northern Territory Government to repay a $12m grant it received for its new grandstand after ICAC Commissioner Ken Fleming’s made findings of “improper conduct” and said the turf club’s grant application for the grandstand should have been assessed under the government’s market-led proposal policy. 

Last year Commissioner Fleming made adverse findings against the Chief Minister’s former chief of staff, three members of the Darwin Turf Club and a company director over the grant for the new grandstand.  

“The barest is the claim for a grant of $12 million as being the cost of construction,” the Commissioner’s report said. “There is no basis contained in the submission for that figure. None existed.”

Darwin Turf Club Chief Executive Brad Morgan said this week that the club was still seeking clarity on the return of the $12m grant but it had not received any correspondence from the NT Government as yet.

“The Darwin Turf Club will do everything in its power to try to speak to the government and present a case to why calling back the $12m will be financially irresponsible on their behalf,” Mr Morgan was reported as saying.

“It will place the club in financial peril, so we would like an opportunity to speak to whoever’s making the decision as to why the Darwin Turf Club would find it difficult to repay that amount of money over any period of time.”

On a positive note, ticket sales for the month-long Darwin Cup Carnival, starting July 2, are going strong with corporate areas already sold out.

No word yet on repayment of the Darwin Turf Club Grandstand grant.

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