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Senior Qld racing steward stood down

A senior Queensland Racing Integrity Commission steward has been stood down.

Jamie Dart, the director of Stewarding and Licencing, was appointed to the position last month after acting in it for more than one year.

Mr Dart was stood down on full pay on Thursday afternoon pending an internal investigation into “a matter prior to the start of the QRIC” in July.

“The stand down action does not mean any allegations have been substantiated, and the matter will be fully investigated before any other action is taken,” a QRIC spokeswoman said in a statement.

“Details of who will be relieving in the position of acting director of Stewarding and Licencing will be confirmed as soon as possible.”

The commission said it would not be commenting further pending the outcome of the investigation.

Announcing Mr Dart’s appointment in October, the commission said he had 17 years of cross-code career experience working in Brisbane, Townsville and NSW.

Commissioner Ross Barnett said the decision was made based on Mr Dart’s “industry experience, knowledge and professionalism”.

The QRIC is an independent statutory body overseeing the integrity and welfare standards of racing animals and participants in Queensland.

It was set up to implement the recommendations of the MacSporran commission of inquiry into live baiting.

In a letter to a question on notice tabled on Thursday, it was also revealed the government paid KPMG $784,353 to lead a turnaround in Racing Queensland’s economic position.

“The engagement was initially for a period of three months, from 1 June to 1 September 2015, and this continued through a subsequent extension to 31 March 2016,” Racing Minister Grace Grace said.

The state government in July resisted calls for the Queensland greyhound industry to be shut down, arguing that it had shown itself to be “capable of reform” unlike its NSW counterpart.

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