On 15 February 2021, William Alan Shuck (Shuck), a former Infrastructure and Operations Manager at Racing Queensland (RQ), pleaded guilty to fraud in the Brisbane District Court in relation to contract procurement in five separate contracts awarded by RQ between June 2014 and November 2015 for works at several racetracks operated by RQ. He was convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment, wholly suspended for three years.

At the time of the offences Shuck was an employee of Racing Queensland (RQ). His co-accused in these offences was Wayne Francis Innes (‘Innes’), the owner of the now liquidated Landfill Logistics Qld Pty Ltd (Landfill Logistics). Shuck had been involved in the racing industry for many years and knew Innes through the Brisbane Racing Club (BRC) and attending race days.  

Upon commencement of his employment with RQ Shuck completed a conflict of interest declaration, disclosing that he was friends with several licensees, suppliers and contractors, however he did not specify his personal association with Innes.

In his role Shuck had responsibility for approving and managing minor infrastructure projects for RQ.

In late 2015, concerns regarding Shuck’s business practices were internally reported to the relevant compliance area at RQ. An internal investigation was commenced and was also referred to the Crime and Corruption Commission (‘CCC’). The CCC’s investigation, Operation Yardage, was commenced in June 2016.

The CCC investigation identified five projects between 2014 and 2015 where Shuck colluded with Innes by providing confidential information, favouritism in the selection stage, or the forging of documents.

Throughout the tendering process for five contracts offered by RC, Shuck colluded with Innes to enable Innes’s company to win those contracts. The conduct included:

  • Shuck providing Innes copies of competitor’s quotes;
  • Shuck providing Innes confidential RQ budget documents for the projects he was tendering for; and
  • Shuck and/or Innes fabricating tenders.

On 16 February 2021, Shuck plead guilty to five offences for misconduct in relation to public office, with intent to dishonestly gain a benefit for another. 

Shuck was sentenced to two years imprisonment, wholly suspended for three years.

The Court noted that Shuck had been naïve, and that he held a limited and self-serving view of his own culpability. Although he did not personally receive a financial benefit as a result of the offending, he did enjoy a friendship and the popularity it gave him with Innes. 

His actions gave Innes a “considerable advantage in the tender process and subverted the proper commercial tender process”. 

The Court regarded the commercial disadvantage caused to the other businesses involved in the affected tender processes to be at the heart of his offending, emphasising that conduct such as this by persons who occupy a “position of considerable trust” will receive from the condign punishment from the Courts.

Last updated: 20 April 2021
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