RQL inquiry held first public hearing

SEPARATING fact from rumour will be a key focus throughout the Queensland Racing Commission of Inquiry, which has kicked off in Brisbane.

The $3 million inquiry held its first public hearing today and the terms of reference were laid out.

The Inquiry will investigate the Bligh Government's transfer of $20 million to Racing Queensland Limited's infrastructure account days before it entered caretaker mode and hefty pay-outs provided to RQL heavyweights following their resignation.

Contracts awarded to Sunshine Coast firm Contour Consulting without a tender process will also be scrutinized.

Counsel assisting Tom Pincus said the inquiry would also look at whether RQL acted with "integrity and in the best interests of the racing industry".

The Commission has received 14,000 documents already but counsel assisting James Bell QC said separating the facts from rumours would be a "significant task to say the least".

Commissioner Margaret White said the racing industry had been mired by controversy for decades.

A public hearing schedule is expected to be released last August.

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