Greyhound Industry Reform Panel fair but funding required, says industry

Unfair funding: Running of the 2016 Chief Havoc Cup in Gunnedah. GBOTA chairman Geoff Rose agreed with the reform panel's recommendations handed down on Thursday. But he called for even money in the TAB distribution pool to enable those reforms to take place. Photo: Sam Woods
Unfair funding: Running of the 2016 Chief Havoc Cup in Gunnedah. GBOTA chairman Geoff Rose agreed with the reform panel's recommendations handed down on Thursday. But he called for even money in the TAB distribution pool to enable those reforms to take place. Photo: Sam Woods

The state’s greyhound industry has no concern about recommendations made by a new reform panel set up to ensure the sport’s future. But to implement them, it does want an even share of revenue raised.

The NSW Greyhound Industry Reform Panel headed by former Premier Morris Iemma, made 122 recommendations, including one which restricts keeping small animals on properties with greyhounds.

Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association (GBOTA) chairman Geoff Rose said such animals should not be on greyhound properties in the first place, unless for a justified reason. 

Overall, he agreed with the panel’s recommendations.

“I can’t see a big problem with them,” Mr Rose said.

Where he sought reform was in the greyhound racing funding model, which he believed was cutting off the hand that feeds them.

“We receive only 13 per cent of the TAB distribution pool for three [racing] codes but generate 21 per cent,” he said. 

Mr Rose said thoroughbred and harness racing both receive more funding than they produce.

“We’re a 20 million subsidy for the other codes,” he said. “The only way to be changed is with government. 

“They expect us to introduce to more animal welfare programs but we can’t do it without the money.”

If an even market share in wagering distribution can not be achieved, Mr Rose said a compromise could be reached through tax concessions for the greyhound industry.

Minister for Racing Paul Toole invited feedback on the reform panel’s report before government responded to the recommendations.

He also assured greyhound industry representatives that last year’s legislation banning racing in NSW, would be abolished.

“There should be no doubt whatsoever the Greyhound Racing Prohibition Act will be repealed well before its scheduled start date,” Mr Toole said. 

“The community has made it clear the greyhound industry should have another chance.”

The full report can read at racing.justice.nsw.gov.au