Racing and Gaming Minister Pam Beggs today totally rejected suggestions of political interference in the running of the Totalisator Agency Board and radio station 6PR.
"It is ludicrous in the extreme for the Liberal Party to suggest the Government has in any way interfered in the operations of the radio station," she said.
"The TAB board comprises representatives nominated by the racing industry and TAB agents. The Government is represented by the executive director of the Office of Racing and Gaming and appoints the chairman.
"That board is charged with making decisions in the best interests of the TAB and the 12,000 people employed in the racing industry who depend on the TAB for a big proportion of their income.
"The TAB board also nominates members of the 6PR board. The composition of that board is a matter for the station and the TAB.
"As the Minister responsible for the TAB, I have absolutely no authority, and nor would I seek it, to be involved in the day-to-day operations of radio 6PR or the appointment of its board.
"These operations include the program format, editorial content including on-air comment, staffing, scheduling and so on.
"Because of recent comments in the media, I asked the TAB if it was correct that the TAB intended instructing 6PR to drop all talk-back and replace it with constant racing programs.
"The TAB has advised this is not the case.
"Talk-back radio will continue, but there will be a small increase in the number of races covered on Friday afternoons.
"These arrangements were negotiated between the management of the TAB and the radio station.
"However, I can only emphasise that I should not and will not interfere in the TAB's decisions on how they manage their radio station, 6PR."