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Neil Mitchell grills Racing Minister Martin Pakula over Cox Plate crowds

Article image for Neil Mitchell grills Racing Minister Martin Pakula over Cox Plate crowds

Racing Minister Martin Pakula has acknowledged the short-lived decision to allow a small crowd at the Cox Plate was “a mistake” but says he didn’t make the decision alone.

In a fiery interview, Neil Mitchell clashed with Mr Pakula over the decision to ever allow a crowd, which the 3AW Mornings host says was “absurd”.

“Sometimes when you’re making hundreds and hundreds of decisions you get some wrong,” Mr Pakula told Neil Mitchell.

“On reflection, providing that ability for owners to watch their horse race, in an environment where a whole bunch of other freedoms are not yet in place, was a mistake.”

Mr Pakula says the Crisis Council of Cabinet approved the controversial decision, and he did not act alone.

NEIL MITCHELL: You operated on the authority of the community crisis cabinet?

MARTIN PAKULA: Well, I wasn’t acting alone.

NEIL MITCHELL: That’s the whole point! That there could be more than one person in the government who just doesn’t get it … who else thought it was a good idea? Did the Premier sign off on it?

MARTIN PAKULA: One thing I’ve never done, in my public life, is to go through the ins and outs of the discussions of cabinet … I’m not going to change that now.

Press PLAY below for the full interview

Neil Mitchell says short-lived Cox Plate exemption proves state government ‘has lost the plot’