Perna to retire from Victoria Racing Integrity role

The Victorian Government has paid tribute to respected Victorian Racing Integrity Commissioner Sal Perna, who on Friday advised that he would not seek reappointment when his term expires at the end of February 2021.

Mr Perna was appointed as Victoria’s first Racing Integrity Commissioner in 2010 and his appointment has been extended on four separate occasions.

Minister for Racing Martin Pakula said that Mr Perna had made an outstanding contribution to racing in the state.

Mr Perna has conducted significant investigations that have led to advancements within the Victorian racing industry, including a major investigation into live baiting in Victoria’s greyhound racing industry in 2015 which paved the way for significant improvements in animal welfare outcomes in the industry over the past five years.

Mr Perna is a former senior police officer and chairman of Crime Stoppers (Vic), a former long-serving member of the AFL Victoria tribunal and an ex-Chief Commissioner's representative and ex-deputy chair of the Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation.

Mr Perna’s community contribution have included working with the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and the Royal Women’s Hospital, where he is a Life Governor. He was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Outside of racing, Mr Perna is a director of the Independent Supervisory Board for the Global Tennis Integrity Unit and a board member of the National Basketball league.

The Government will call for candidates for the role of Racing Integrity Commissioner in due course.

“Sal Perna is an outstanding Victorian who has made an enormous contribution to racing and sport in this state,” said Pakula.

“The Victorian Government and the Victorian racing industry thank Sal for the dedication and excellence that he has demonstrated in this important role.”

“I am extremely proud to have served as the inaugural Racing Integrity Commissioner in Victoria and the time is right for me now to step down.,” said Perna.

“Our racing industry operates with the highest standards of integrity and I am honoured to have had the opportunity to have made a contribution.”