What’s happened?

The Greyhound Racing Prohibition Bill was passed on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 with Parliament.

On Tuesday, October 11, 2016 – the NSW Government announced a historical backflip on the ban.
See our media release here.

Save Canberra Greyhounds Rally
on Monday 27th November

Times:
11am meet at Canberra Greyhound club track (235 Narrabundah Lane, Symonston) – to pick up shirts, signs and get a briefing)
12pm rally at ACT legislative assembly (196 London cct, Canberra ACT 2601) – duration approximately 1hr

Speakers all TBC:
Alan Tutt (CGRC Chairman)
Staff representatives (TBC)
Mark Parton (Shadow Minister for racing)
Kel Watt (Watt Consultancy)

Why NSW participants should come:
A Canberra win will act to safeguard NSW and indeed the whole industry nationwide however if Canberra were to shut then a precedent has been set which will make the other states vulnerable and give the animal activists a huge confident boost to continue/ramp up their campaigns Nationwide.
The Ban is completely politically motivated with not one breach of animal welfare at the CGRC in its 38yr history.
To support your fellow trainers/owners/breeders & staff in the ACT area who travelled to Sydney on a bus for the NSW rally.
A big show of numbers at the rally will show not just the local government but every state government that greyhound racing is a large, strong community that cannot be bullied.

Additional details:
After the rally there will be light refreshments and the bar will be open at discounted prices for all supporters.
Please do not bring your greyhounds to the rally, if you wish to bring them on the journey as it fits in with your racing schedule please advise the club as we will have the race day kennels open. (which are airconditioned, secure & under surveillance)
Please contact your local club if you wish to come on a bus, CGRC will be contacting them shortly to offer assistance.

Please join us in attending this rally to show your support for the Canberra Club. One day from your week could prove the difference in safeguarding the industry as a whole, not just now but for future generations of greyhound racing participants.

Microsoft Word - CGRC - Canberra Rally Poster for NSW - 27 Novem

A special meeting of the NSW GBOTA and the NSW Greyhound Racing Industry Alliance

A special meeting of the NSW GBOTA and the NSW Greyhound Racing Industry Alliance was held, whose aim was to consider options to support the Canberra greyhound racing industry following the announcement by the ACT Attorney General, Gordon Ramsay, that the industry in the ACT would close by the end of June, 2018.

The confirmation follows a parliamentary agreement between ACT Labor and the Greens in October, 2016 (which withdrew annual funding of $1m from the Canberra Greyhound Racing Club, effective July 1, 2017, and supported transitioning of the industry’s closure) and the presentation of a transition report by Mary Durkin Consulting to the ACT Government last month.

Ramsay stated that the ACT Government had been given a mandate to end greyhound racing at last October’s ACT election. The ban is part of ACT Labor’s power sharing agreement with the Greens to form Government.

The Durkin report found no evidence of live baiting or animal cruelty being carried out in the ACT or by ACT based participants. But Canberra’s reliance on NSW trainers racing at the venue seemed to be at the heart of the ACT Government’s continued conviction to the industry’s closure, despite the NSW Government having backflipped on its July 7, 2016 decision to ban greyhound racing in favour of strong and real reform.

The closure of the sport in the ACT will require legislation, which is yet to be considered, and – as was the case in NSW – this could lead to grounds for legal challenge.

Spokesman for the Alliance, Brenton Scott, said that was no evidence produced in the Durkin Report that justified a stand-alone approach being taken in the ACT.

“The report speaks to the known concerns – over-breeding, unnecessary euthanasia and racing safety,” Scott said.

“The industry Australia over has acknowledged the need to professionally manage all stages of a greyhound’s natural life, to provide the safest possible racing environment and to adopt a zero tolerance approach to animal cruelty… we are getting on with the job ahead.

“In turn, State Governments – with the exception of the ACT – are working with the greyhound industry to develop operational frameworks that ensure that the sport meets the reasonable expectations of the community.

“ACT Labor, however, are beholden to the increasingly extreme position of the Greens, and are prepared to turn their back on the socio economic class the party was foundered on.”

Details on the ACT Taskforce can be found here.

While the full report by Mary Durkin can be seen here.

Spokesman for the Alliance, Brenton Scott, said that was no evidence produced in the Durkin Report that justified a stand-alone approach being taken in the ACT.

“The report speaks to the known concerns – over-breeding, unnecessary euthanasia and racing safety,” Scott said.

“The industry Australia over has acknowledged the need to professionally manage all stages of a greyhound’s natural life, to provide the safest possible racing environment and to adopt a zero tolerance approach to animal cruelty… we are getting on with the job ahead.

“In turn, State Governments – with the exception of the ACT – are working with the greyhound industry to develop operational frameworks that ensure that the sport meets the reasonable expectations of the community.

“ACT Labor, however, are beholden to the increasingly extreme position of the Greens, and are prepared to turn their back on the socio economic class the party was foundered on.”

Details on the ACT Taskforce can be found here.

While the full report by Mary Durkin can be seen here.

NSW Government announce next steps to reform

Participants are advised that the NSW Government have announced that Expressions of Interest are now open for the reconstituted Greyhound Racing NSW Board positions.

The Board under the Act will have between five and seven members, with either two or three positions able to be filled by industry participants subject to the advertised skills criteria, depending on the Government’s end decision as to the total size of the Board.

Participants with an interest, relevant experience and/or qualifications are encouraged to apply and assist in the shaping of our industry’s future.

The Expression of Interest for Director positions with the new Commercial Board can be found on the NSW Department of Industry website here.

A copy of the 2017 Greyhound Racing Act can also be found here.

Today’s announcement also calls for Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner roles with the new NSW Greyhound Racing Welfare and Integrity Commission. Details again can be found on the NSW Department of Industry website for interested parties.

On March 28, 2017 – Recommendations of the Greyhound Industry Reform Panel released.

The Greyhound Industry Reform Panel was formed by the NSW Government on 11 October 2016 to provide recommendations on potential new animal welfare and governance arrangements to reform the industry (after the ban was reversed).

The panel consisted of The Hon Morris Iemma (Chair), Mr Simon Draper (Deputy Chair), Mr Brenton Scott (BGOTA), Mr Steve Coleman and Dr Christine Middlemiss.

 Their aim is to put the promotion and protection of animal welfare at the centre of new industry arrangements and to impose the strictest measures in the country to address animal cruelty. We believe this is crucial to the future of greyhound racing in NSW and to build the community’s confidence in its integrity.

Read the media release here.

Read the Greyhound Industry Reform Panel report of recommendations here.

The NSW Greyhound Racing Industry Alliance was formed to fight NSW Premier Mike Baird’s decision to close our industry. The Alliance is a united group of industry bodies including the NSW Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers’ Association, all independent clubs and industry participants. The Alliance remains committed to working alongside the NSW Government upholding all of the 122 recommendations as proposed by the Reform Panel.

What can you do to help?

1. Show support by attending the greyhound races

We all love the greyhounds and the many participants, supporters, members of Parliament, media celebrities and journalists have fought hard to overturn the ban. Show us your support and true appreciation for the greyhound races. This is what we fought for.

2. Donate

Fighting the ban has taken time and has cost money, please contribute to our campaign which was successful in overturning the ban legislation.

Anything you can give is appreciated.

See our generous donors here.

3. Stay updated
via Social Media

Stay in touch for updates via social media; Facebook and Twitter. Like other Clubs Facebook pages, share information and posts amongst each other, follow each other on Twitter, re-tweet relevant posts.

The only strength forward is working together and collaboratively as an Alliance and staying in close communication during this period of change.

What’s happened?

On July 7, 2016 the NSW Government released the findings of the Special Commission of Inquiry and simultaneously announced that the NSW greyhound industry was to be shut down as of July 1, 2017. This decision was unexpected and left industry participants stunned and heart-broken.

The industry was shocked when Premier Mike Baird announced a ban of the industry. This was one of eighty recommendations made in the report from the Inquiry. Seventy-nine other recommendations allowed the industry to continue on its journey of reform.

Shortly after 3.40am Wednesday morning, August 24, 2016 the Greyhound Racing Prohibition Bill passed through the lower house with a divided vote; 48 (for) to 35 (against). This is the largest rebellion Premier Mike Baird has experienced in 5½ years of Coalition government.

ORANGE BY-ELECTION RESULT: We worked hard with all parties that supported the overturn of the Greyhound Prohibition Legislation and we supported the Orange by-election by campaigning hard for our position. As a result of the campaigning, the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party won its first seat in the lower house of the NSW Parliament after its candidate, Philip Donato, was declared victorious in the Orange by-election by just 50 votes.

UPDATE 11/10/16: The NSW Government makes a historical backflip on the legislation.

NSW Greyhound Racing Alliance confirms it’s commitment to work with the NSW Government to set performance benchmarks.

The NSW Greyhound Racing Industry Alliance has confirmed it is willing to work cooperatively with the NSW Government to set performance standards for the industry and properly consider other recommendations provided in the McHugh Report.

“We have always believed that the issues in the industry could be fixed in an alternative way and have communicated this clearly since the proposed ban was announced. We have presented the Government with a plan that demonstrates that the industry can make significant changes and we will work with them to ensure thorough and ongoing assessment,” said Brenton Scott, Chief Executive, NSW Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers’ Association (GBOTA).

“We are committed to a plan that will ensure we are world leaders in regulation and animal welfare, meet the expectations of the community and still operate a viable and sustainable industry.

The Alliance has made four guarantees of action, demonstrating the industry’s commitment to reform, summarised as follows:

  • A controlled breeding programme.
  • Total life cycle management of all our greyhounds including greyhounds unable to race and retired greyhounds.
  • Zero tolerance for animal cruelty, including live baiting, punishable by a life time ban for any infringement.
  • Provision of the safest possible racing environment to eliminate avoidable injury.

Behind each of these guarantees is a detailed action plan to demonstrate how the industry is able to meet these commitments. The action plans include breeding quotas, a grading system for racing dogs, more funding for adoption programs and an industry Code of Practice enforceable by a world leading regulatory and supervisory structure.

Whilst animal welfare must be front and centre of the NSW greyhound industry’s decision making process going forward, the Alliance believes that a new governance structure and a fair wagering funding model needs to also be put in place.

“We need a separation of regulatory and commercial functions, and a wagering funding model that is performance based, free of the current cross code subsidisation.”

Legal Proceedings

The NSW Supreme Court action (which seeks to tackle the McHugh Report) has been discontinued based on legal advice. The NSW Supreme case was based on jurisdictional grounds, the Federal Court action against the Legislation retained to ensure the legislation is ultimately passed. This Federal Court proceedings has been parked, in agreement with The Crown, while the industry awaits the repeal of the legislation.

Greyhound Racing Bill 2017

The NSW Coalition Government, through the Racing Minister, Paul Toole, on Tuesday, March 28, presented the Greyhound Racing Bill 2017 to the Lower House. The Bill accepts 121 of the 122 NSW Greyhound Racing Industry Reform Panel recommendations. While the Bill acknowledges the need for improved funding, at the current time the NSW government has not positioned to amend the Intercode agreement or Tax Harmonisation. The NSW Greyhound Racing Industry Alliance is continuing to work with all parties to seek the best possible outcome for funding of industry reforms. The proposed $41m by the Government seeks to present $11m for the development and running of the Integrity Commission, while $30m is ear marked for industry infrastructure upgrades to improve greyhound safety.

Moving forward

The Alliance continue to engage with GRNSW on the range of updated or new policies/projects. Participants are always encouraged to constructively engage with consultation where it applies. Correspondence can also be sent to the Alliance at gbota@gbota.com.au for inclusion in any engagement the Alliance is undertaking.

Brenton Scott, Chief Executive, NSW GBOTA

“We are appreciative and thankful that this (over turning of the ban) decision has been made. This has been a very difficult time for so many people whose lives were overturned by this ban,”

“The ban was devastating for so many communities and families and we are thankful that the Government has listened and responded. We are now completely committed to making the people of NSW proud of their greyhound industry.

What did the ban mean?

The initial passing of legislation banning our industry was totally devastating for the 15,000 participants, friends and family and the greyhounds who participate in and love the sport. Ten thousand of these participants live in regional NSW and the ban spelt heart-break and disaster for these communities.

In addition, thousands of jobs would of been lost and industry suppliers severely affected, even shutting down their businesses.
It was a hasty and unfair decision on the part of the NSW government that would of had seriously significant and damaging long-term consequences across a wide range of industries and the agribusiness sector, as well as for the State Liberal Government as the election polls loom in 2019.

As an industry, we will band together through this period of change. We will work alongside the government and participants to achieve the best for the industry and for the respected future of greyhound racing.

What did we do to fight the ban?

The industry submitted a strong rebuttal, a sustainable industry plan and 4 key guarantees to the Premier Mike Baird and Deputy Premier Troy Grant.
Additionally, the industry has shown a united front conducting a thousands strong public rally on Aug 2nd, 2016 at Hyde Park, Sydney and presenting the NSW Government with a petition which contained over 37,000 signatures.

We have supported our continual lobbying with an prominent and clear advertising campaign and relentless social media content pushed out daily across metropolitan NSW and regional NSW. We will continue to lobby members of parliament through the process.

You can further help to support our campaign by following the ‘What can you do to help’ steps.

The industry has changing and this is how we have changed;

  • Breeding reform, which has already seen a decrease of 46 per cent in NSW
  • Measurable breeding prodigy outcomes to ensure improved breeding practices
  • Development of best practice and licensing in the areas of education and rearing
  • Development of safer racing facilities
  • Increased veterinary care controls and reporting on track
  • Improved policies to increase fair racing opportunities

We as a community have changed. We are changing. We can change. We will continue to change.

The NSW Greyhound Racing Alliance is relieved and thankful the ban has been reversed.

Racing to a Respected Future