Racing and Wagering Western Australia chief executive Richard Burt (right) with Paul Papalia

Racing boss joins Fowler Group

Wednesday, 3 June, 2020 - 15:54

Racing and Wagering Western Australia chief executive Richard Burt has resigned to take up a new role running the diversified business interests of RWWA director Bob Fowler.

Mr Fowler is the managing director of Fowler Group of Companies, which has in excess of 200 employees.

He is dealer principal of Westside Auto Wholesale and also owns two holiday parks, along with Willoughby Park Winery and Boston Brewery near the town of Denmark.

Mr Fowler has been a director RWWA since August 2016, having been appointed as a nominee of The Western Australian Trotting Association, of which he was previously president.

Mr Burt spent 13 years at RWWA and was understood to be the state's most highly-paid public servant with annual remuneration in excess of $760,000, according to RWWA's annaul report.

Racing and Gaming Minister Paul Papalia said Mr Burt had presided over important work to drive the competitiveness of the WA TAB and address market challenges to maximise returns to the WA racing industry - including a $159 million return to racing in 2019.

He said Mr Burt also led the industry through important animal welfare reforms, enhancements to the WA TAB product and multiple infrastructure improvements.

“On a personal note, it has been a pleasure to work with someone of Richard’s calibre. His industry knowledge, business acumen and communication skills are second-to-none," Mr Papalia said.

“Richard’s adept stewardship of RWWA has ensured the industry has met the significant challenges it has faced over the last 13 years.

Mr Burt finishes in the role on September 30, 2020.

In a statement, RWWA chairman Jeff Ovens paid tribute to Mr Burt following the announcement of his resignation.

Mr Burt has shown exemplary leadership and commitment to RWWA, being an integral part of the organisation for 13 out of its 17 years of service to the WA racing industry,” Mr Ovens said.

“He has successfully guided RWWA and the wider racing industry through some of the most challenging and uncertain times we have faced as an organisation and an industry, including the recent disruptions caused by the outbreak of COVID-19.”

“The RWWA board would like to express their deepest gratitude for Mr Burt’s focused and effective leadership in ensuring a sustainable future for the WA racing industry.”

Mr Ovens said that the Board would embark on a nation-wide search for the next leader of its racing and wagering operations.