He also provided Commonwealth Games for Regional Victoria in 2026 two more President’s Cup Golf Tournaments in 2028 and 2040, and – according to V’landis – ensured that Victorian racing was the best funded jurisdiction in Australia, while maintaining sporting activity during the pandemic.
“He is their greatest asset,” V’landis said Age.
“He is the highest man can do; if you want anything done, Pakula is the person to go to. The biggest competition we have is Pakula. If they do not get a minister equivalent to Pakula, their funding could be jeopardized.
“Without him, [Victorian racing] will be in big trouble. “
Asked if Pakul had a future in racing, he said he would be happy with the conversation, “if people in the industry think that’s what they want to talk to me about.”
“I love racing and I enjoyed participating in them,” he said.
“I would be interested to somehow stay involved; I really don’t know how that would be. There are many different ways you can race, be it a club, an administration, Racing Australia, there are many ways. “
Pakula canceled the offers he could have been the next executive director of the AFLand said reports that he had recently met for coffee with AFL Director-General Gillon McLachlan were “quite inconspicuous”.
“I am catching up with the leadership in football, cricket, netball and tennis,” he said. “As Minister of Sports, this is my job.”
Former VRC chairman Amanda Elliott said the race should find a way to keep Pakula in the sport.
“The racing industry has to be the first to its door, literally,” she said.
“He shouldn’t get lost in the races. Given his brilliant job as racing minister, we need to make sure he stays involved when not managing him.
“If anyone could sort out the very unnecessary and self-destructive so-called war between Victoria and New Wales, my money would be on Martin Pakula.
“He was a very, very effective politician in what he sought. He was a big fan of racing in government, he always made more money. He understood racing as a sport but also as a business.
“He understood how many people worked in it, and he understood the opportunities it gave to bring Melbourne to the world stage as a showcase.”
V’landis did not comment on whether Pakula would good for Racing Australiabut could not be more complimentary of Pakula’s influence on Victorian racing.
“He’s always been polite, so he’s a very handsome guy,” V’landis said.
“He’s easily accessible, every time I call him, he calls.
“Even though we’re in a lot of competition with each other, he treats it as a problem as it should, he treats it as if we’re still human after all, and he treats us accordingly .
Pakula said peace can be found between the two racing bodies if they are willing to compromise.
“I get along well with Peter V’landis,” he said. I don’t agree with every position they have taken at NSW, but on a personal level I like it and I think I understand it.
“I don’t think there’s anything illegitimate in the fact that NSW has ambitions regarding spring. I just think there may be more cooperation in matters of time.
“I just think the industry will benefit if the best jockeys and the best horses work in both jurisdictions. But you both have to want to find that solution, and if Victoria and NSW Racing both want to find a solution, there’s no doubt it can be found. ”
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