ARG reiterates its proposal as talk suggests a backflip on ban

LEADING news sources are predicting the Baird Government could potentially backflip on its controversial law to shutdown greyhound racing within New South Wales.

While Government representatives have attempted to deflect the claims, an email sent by National Party MP and Assistant Speaker Andrew on Thursday has been leaked to the press, with Fraser conceding the Government is in serious trouble.

“As you are no doubt aware from recent media polls and articles, our government, if an election was to be held tomorrow, would be unelectable,” the email, sent to the Premier, Deputy Premier and ministers read.

“We can compliment ourselves on a futuristic program of infrastructure across the state, increased delivery of services… Australia’s lowest unemployment, a AAA credit rating and leading the nation in all economic criteria etc.

“But these are, unfortunately, not issues or criteria which will win us the coming by-elections or keep us in government.”

Fraser said the ban must be overturned by the Baird Government before it comes into effect as of July 1, 2017.

“The greyhound legislation has completely reversed our political fortune. There is only one way to try and salvage our position.

“1. Do not proclaim the Greyhound Racing Prohibition Bill 2016.

“2. Adopt the NSW Greyhound Industry Alliance plan, which will reduce the number of races, the number of dogs and the number of tracks.

“3. Ensure any person in the industry who wastes a dog inhumanely or live baits is subject to a very large fine, a jail term and a life ban from the industry.

“The Keniry report will surely confirm that up to 20,000 greyhounds will have to be destroyed post-July 2017 if the legislation is enacted. I feel sure Keniry will also advise that any readjustment package will far exceed the estimated cost of upgrading the remaining greyhound tracks to meet required standards.

“[Overturning the ban] would, I believe, receive full public support.

“There is no shame in taking this action, we can clearly indicate that as a government we have listened and acted accordingly. We have to resolve this issue as we are facing a political disaster.

“The Orange by-election at this stage appears unwinnable and I believe that the greyhound legislation has been the catalyst which has put us in this position.

“I plead with all of you to adopt this plan and save our government.

“We cannot afford another Labor government which will once again ­return NSW to a parlous state.”

The leaked email comes as pressure surrounding the decision continues to build, with the greyhound racing industry launching a case in the Federal Court earlier this week claiming a ban would breach section 92 of the Commonwealth Constitution, which guarantees freedom of interstate trade.

It also follows revelations that the head of the Greyhounds Transition Taskforce, Dr John Keniry, will hand down a report outlining a transition package for the industry which details that up to 19,000 greyhounds will be effected by the ban, more than three times the amount originally estimated by Government.

Fraser’s ‘backflip plan’ uses a proposal outlined by the NSW Greyhound Racing Industry Alliance, which based its figures on a report by KPMG that is yet to be read by the industry.

Since the Alliance’s plan was announced, Australian Racing Greyhound has also presented the NSW Labor Party with a comprehensive industry model which would guarantee the sustainability of the sport moving forward.

A key aspect of the plan put forward by ARG includes the introduction of the Greyhound Welfare Future Fund, which would ensure that every greyhound born into the industry is given the opportunity to live a full life.

“The key part of the equation is the establishment of the welfare future fund, which means that every greyhound which goes to the track effectively contributes to the welfare of all greyhounds born, retired and re-homed,” said Kevin Pitstock, CEO of Racemedia, the parent company of Australian Racing Greyhound, when the proposal was unveiled last month.

The fund could potentially include a rebate of $20 per week for each retired greyhound, therefore encouraging owners and trainers to keep their retired racers, while it would also support those in the community taking on a greyhound as a pet.

“Our figures indicate that it would contribute $12 million in year one towards animal welfare and we foresee that in five years it could potentially be up around $50-60 million and it would ultimately self-fund,” he said.

“Based on the preliminary figures we are looking at around $4,000 per greyhound to put towards their future welfare and care after they finish racing.

“There is no disputing that there needs to be a much more significant push towards improving animal welfare and the industry itself needs to remain in control of the welfare and care of these greyhounds.

“The fund would be exclusive of prize money – it is something that would be contributed directly from GRNSW into the future fund every time a greyhound starts.

“It’s not something that comes out of prize money or appearance money – the participant themselves will not be losing out.

“The money is not there to plunder or for people to fund their own lifestyle – it is there for the greyhounds.

“It would fund the adoption programs and it would allow for the purchase of properties where large numbers of greyhounds could be cared for on a bigger scale than what is currently happening.

“It is important that the industry offers full life care for every greyhound born and under this model that would be achievable.”

The proposal involves a breeding pool of 3,000-3,500 pups born per annum, of which 80 per cent would be expected to make the track, with all dogs to be supported by the aforementioned Future Fund to provide total life care and tracking for every greyhound.

Additionally, ARG’s plan would also introduce increased funding for veterinary care at race meetings, more swabbing and a batter management model for NSW tracks which would see Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) manage all tracks and employees – allowing for tighter controls of costs and integrity.

Pitstock said the plan was reliant on the industry receiving its fair share of both the intercode agreement and the tax parity, but said it was entirely realistic.

“A lot of the argument from the Baird and Grant Government has been centred around the concept that greyhound racing is unsustainable and that welfare reforms are un-fundable,” Pitstock said.

“That prompted us to do some further investigation and come up with our own model, which we believe is quite revolutionary as far as the racing industry is concerned, particularly in regards to our concept of a welfare future fund.

“Our proposal allows for 728 meetings per year, allowing greater racing opportunities for greyhounds in comparison to the proposal of 593 meetings per year as put forward by the Joint Working Group.

“The modelling is based on the assumption that recommendation 64 of the McHugh report is adopted and that greyhound racing receive 22 per cent of turnover.

“Based on the figures we have provided, it proves that with our fair share of TAB revenue, greyhound racing is sustainable.”

ARG’s thoughts on saving NSW greyhounds

The repercussions of the ban on greyhound racing are starting to be felt across the state, with tens of thousands of jobs set to be destroyed, while an industry which contributes over $335 million to NSW will be killed off.

Now more than ever it is important that participants keep the pressure on the government at an all time high, to send the powerful message that the industry will not be beaten.

If the industry is allowed to continue, we believe our plan delivers the best animal welfare outcomes for all greyhounds, while it will also strengthen integrity resulting in a cleaner, fairer sport for all participants and their dogs.

Past Discussion

  1. Less races? Don’t trust them keep going we will win because we are right and it must be a complete victory, we can then discuss a more sensible distribution, give us our proper share and we will build a fantastic industry.

  2. Further, when was the Alliance plan advertised, who did they consult, what right do they claim to offer anything? Truly we are being led by imbeciles, Brenton Scott save face and resign.

  3. Todman  can you- can the criticism of Brenton Scott for a while Todman. United we win divided we fall you can argue about his merits later.

  4. Deb, as you well know, Todman is the imbicile who condones the use of the word bunny. Don’t give rabbit brain any more airtime and completely ignore its intellectually informed dribble

  5. Todman Some aspects of the Alliance i don’t agree with,but with what the Baird Grant government has done too us with shutting down Greyhound Racing here in NSW we must imbraces every opportunity to change the mind of the Government.  Yes the Alliance at first did not want a Rally in Sydney which proved it was very successful and that the Leadership Group was self appointed and must not harp on it that  and keep moving forward !  With respect we must remain UNITED no matter what. Pitstock has exposed  the Cancer that has been eating us away,Yes, that ROTTEN, INTER-CODE AGREEMENT and the TAX PARITY which is Killing us Financially .Just recently i spoke to a very successful Sporting Code CEO who over many years has turned around the fortunes  of Clubs that were struggling Financially and were about to fall over. He told me that the ICA and the Tax Parity  has brought the industry to its knees,he stated if the government addressed these two areas the Greyhound industry would not have to rely on Financial support from the government and would address all the issues in the sport and make the industry more sustainable which would be a win, win situation for the code and the government, and all the tax payers here in NSW.

  6. BobWhitelaw Todman  Yes UNITED-  we can go back to the fighting loving dysfunctional family that we are after we get this over.  Yes like ” your dog hit my dog in that race you mongrel”  and ten minutes later “shit do you need some money or a hand no problem ” I like your improvement ideas and  money is always helpful.

  7. BobWhitelaw Todman The rally in Sydney was high risk but it paid off and  any responsive Government would have realised that a small response on the ground from the welfare lobby opposing greyhound racing and receiving millions in free publicity for their cause compared to a rushed rally producing  large numbers on the ground of people supporting the rights of greyhound racing to exist turning up despite being demonised indicated clearly that public opinion would turn quickly against the Government if they proceeded with the legislation to ban the greyhounds. An experienced Government at this stage would have abandoned their plans to outlaw greyhound racing. The rally also gave strength to the National Members supporting the culture of greyhound racing and the community clubs. The cultural war shows a disregard for grass root enterprises and more important from a public point of view a disregard for small business in favour of big business by the NSW liberals and  the desertion of the Nations of their power base regarding country amenity and activity. The approach from the Justice Department to the advertised campaign of the Government over the greyhound project is naked in its purpose and it is well worth people obtaining copies of the project available to the public on application from the NSW Parliament offices.

    The inter code agreements since 1964 have suppressed the advancement of greyhound racing in relation to TAB broadcasts and have been a matter of bitter conflict since 1970′. While the TAB enterprise advancements of the greyhounds were restricted the non tab clubs were less restricted under the inter code agreements but were restricted and protected by the Minister and parliament up until 1998 and then were protected under a binding memorandum of understanding brokered under the privatisation arrangements. (Intra code agreements within greyhound racing).

    The non tab clubs lost their protection under the legislation when the Racing Act of 2002 was introduced and revoked the memorandum of understanding and left GRNSW to govern the intra code aspects at their discretion which meant that the non tab clubs were in a minority on the GRNSW Board. Legislation which breaks contracts is subject to Government being required to pay compensation. The non tab clubs at the time were under the administrative control of the NCA (NSW GRCA) but the relationship between the NCA and the Country clubs had become strained as there was a recommendation from a working party previously to the GRA that 4% of the Metropolitan distribution be paid to the non tab sector to allow them finance for reform (reform defeated at ministerial level) . The strained relationship of the country clubs with the NCA worsened when the country clubs chose independent representatives on the GRNSW instead of the previous nominees of the NCA. The NCA members who supported challenging the enabling legislation (traditionalists) were not heard and an attempt to put in place another memorandum of understanding to protect the minority group (country clubs) on  the GRNSW failed to eventuate. Protection for the country clubs came in the form of Country Labor being able to get a first item of caucus allowing the effect of any policy or legislation to be tested as to its effect on country activity and amenity and the Nationals were died in the trench supporters of country racing and also moved private members bills on rural protection.

    The first attempt to have an independent strategic plan for greyhound racing under the commercial arrangements was done by GRNSW in 2003  IER was commissioned to produce the plan independent of the board. The plan reflected the fact that the greyhounds were limited under the TAB arrangements and freer under the non tab provisions.

    Any settlement of the Greyhound dispute should include some settlement for the non tab sector who in my opinion are in a stronger position with regard to potential freedom to progress commercial enterprises.

    There is no harm in Greyhound Racing claiming settlement in ambit. The current position is that the Government believe that the inter-code percentage for the greyhounds should be nil and nil payment for the future fund and the ambit claim is that the inter code percentage and future fund allocation should be 22%.

    The Government are considering a good faith payment of million to the greyhound industry and are busily looking at ways of reducing this offer by allocation of the .6 million add campaign from the top . million of the offer is money owed to the industry anyway and they will look at clubs being converted to propriety clubs to pay out compensation themselves.

    My abiding interest is in the community sector which will advance their case through the alliance group.  

  8. John Tracey BobWhitelaw Todman Sorry John, but many in the Industry and the community, and i’am hearing them and they believe we will win the battle politically and not  with a self appointed groups and its never worked, and i tend to agree with that.The Government have the Bank, the Alliance  cash reserves are gone, now they they are selling assets that’s unsustainable in the battle. Look what happen to Cessnock  run out of money and surrendered,  but hung onto to their assets  and you know once them assets are gone they are gone for ever This is the First time the Greyhound industry has had Political clout we must maintain the momentum and People like Ray Pitstock who has formed the AUSTRALIAN SPORT & RACING PARTY to be a voice in political arena for all sports is the way to go and thousands have joined ‘that tells me if they stand a candidate  in the next state election in the Upper House in NSW  they win a seat  and do deals with the Government of the day just like the Animal Justice Party have done since the Grub got a seat. Like  many others and i agree politically the Greyhounds needs a voice and here’s our chance. 

  9. Mr Growler, let us humans have a debate, what colour is the sky in your world, what right do the Alliance have to offer concessions before any decision is made, either you trust the court case or give up our country cousins for expediency, surely Growler is a troll and should be banned.

  10. BobWhitelaw John Tracey Todman  We need all aspects of the campaign to win, the aspects John has talked about , the work of the Alliance and Brenton., the rallies, public support and the courts and the racing party. The fact we have all of this going means there is hope. Anything that furthers the cause is fine with me and the more the better.

    This idea that suddenly a politician is going to announce “I was wrong” is naïve he has to save face and gradually move to a different position based on public support and political support. This is already happening and lets keep encouraging that and how it is done- well as many ways as possible is my idea.

  11. BobWhitelaw John Tracey Todman  PS Bob the government might have the bank but the bank will not do them any good if the public is turning against them and they are, their own members are turning against the them on this decision. Not much point having an asset to run an industry that now longer exists. There will be money left over they can buy a cheaper building and you can run an organisation with the internet from anywhere. The reason the government is under pressure is because they are being hit from many directions.

  12. Brenton, Bradbury, Scott sorry Deborah 555 he really needs to be accountable, softly softly is his attitude I nominate him for Neville Chamberlain Appeaser Award.

  13. Todman  Later he will be not now this will weaken our position if you attack him. Softy softly is how he has to play the game there are plenty of aspects to the campaign that are loud he is playing in a different arena – the courts and you carry on unprofessionally there and you are doomed.

  14. Todman  He seems to support greyhound racing and this is a greyhound racing site so I don’t think he is a troll he just appears not to like some of your ideas.

  15. He’s a tool he objected to the lure being called the bunny I have been in this 55 years and it’s always been called the bunny, politically correct I am not, jumping up and down is his bent.

  16. Todman  Yes Todman as you have probably noticed I am not into political correctness myself and as the years go on everything I do seems to be more politically incorrect.

    I hate political correctness it stifles debate and allows certain  people to use certain qualities about themselves to avoid being questioned about their behaviour. I don’t give a toss what colour, creed, religion, gender you are- if you are a good person you are a good person  if you are a shit however ,you need to be outed regardless of your colour, creed, religion gender etc.

    I love the term “on the bunny” but currently I think it is probably best to curtail its use for a while – while the screaming, rabid, hysterical, people hating but supposedly greyhound lovers are getting so much press.

    I think most times you both have a point and I like reading what both of you have to say( except when you insult each but to be honest I always get a bit of giggle out of that as well.)

  17. The SMH is on the job again “stay strong Mike” is the call from that journo  clown Peter F- yes stay strong Mike when 20,000 dogs get put down the people will love you .(I think not)  What I really think is worrying  couple of the journos at the SMH ( they claimed the Tele is just looking to prove they could influence government) may be because they are and from reading their comments the are not getting too many “yes we agree with you” nor are they getting anything near the comments that the Tele or Australian are getting.

  18. Deborah555 BobWhitelaw John Tracey Todman Debbie your assessment of the situation is along the classical lines of industrial disputes and the only thing that could defeat your (and my) reasoning is that the Government have so many opportunities to find scape goats to save face with a total lack of focus being displayed by Departments supporting the Government and the special commission of inquiry. The overturning of the ban would provide the greyhounds with a return to the current situation and the need to advance the racing subject to conditions.The conditions in my view should include the expansion of greyhound racing into the boarder canine enterprises and the focus of the department of Gaming and Racing, Tourism , Small business , special events , overseas trade , sports and recreation , regional development and the artsall playing a part in the greyhound enterprises as they play a part in the thoroughbred code of racing.

    The Greyhounds have been an isolationist or isolated sport in the past but have had a large following within their ranks. Ray’s forming of a political sporting group including all sports opens up the greyhounds to the wider community and is supported but it is essentially a plan for the future. The current dispute between the Government and the Greyhounds is immediate and requires the possibility of the greyhounds needing to exist in some form up until political fortunes change. If in the interim the clubs are converted from NPF to Propriety and they loose their concessions on race courses and the race courses are scrapped then the road back for the greyhounds will be very difficult. 

    The current dispute has opened up the greyhounds to the community in general, this situation has a positive marketing value. The dispute has also shown up the lack of focus in the administration of the State by the Department of Justice and the Department of Gaming and Racing who have been unable to protect the Government and the community.

    The debate on the greyhound issue is now so wide that it is possible that the funding of the alliance could also involve funding from other potentially affected organisations.

    The Cessnock legal challenge contains many lessons and as Bob mentioned these should be factored into the alliance approach and on the ground level the Cessnock situation should be a model for racecourses hanging onto their infrastructure waiting for sunshine down the track.

    The NSWGRCA (country clubs association) which is a legal entity representing the clubs in the various inter code and intra code agreements are currently preparing a brief to the alliance on their claims for continuance and damages. The clubs will be contacted shortly. I am keen to provide any information I can and detach myself from the project as I need to move on to the production of the greyhound history which when produced will also assist the greyhounds dispute further.

  19. Todman It’s the brainwashed idiots that insist on being politically correct that have got us into this mess.  My grandchildren rather like bunny’s.

  20. lone widow Todman  I like them too but currently they are overbreeding on my farm because there are no mosquitoes to carry the viruses that do them over and they are creating havoc every afternoon I have to fill in all the holes they have created before I let my dogs out into the runs and of course clap my hands several times to get the little “f—kers out of the runs and make sure they are safely in their warrens. I have declared their presence to the racing officials and to be honest lone widow I am liking them less each day.

    PS the top bull who gets all the action went down a rabbit hole and hurt his leg the other bull got a bit of action because his competitor was a bit slow for a while I think the second bull likes rabbits but he is the only one singing their praises here at the moment.

  21. Mehreen Faruqi greens pollie and rabid anti greyhound racing supporter was deeply hurt and offended when Pauline Hanson condemned all Muslims based on the actions of a few. Mehreen was happy to condemn every greyhound trainer in NSW based on the actions of a few. Perhaps there is a lesson  here for her.

  22. Deborah555 The article you have mentioned contains a curious reference to generous compensation which would suggest that the brief comments were inspired by some type of pre knowledge of a compensation package pre arranged prior to an unfinished report to parliament by the working party commissioned by the Government.

    The journalist/historian involved is quite famous and has published 27 best selling books on autobiographies and sports but as far as I can see nothing published on racing.

    He holds the  G  book of records along with Richard Glover and Nick Farr Jones for the worlds longest continuous interview (24 hours) I doubt if his comment in the Herald carried much research.

    The historical lesson which is not being learned is that the greyhounds in Australia have always been a substantial part of the Australian culture with the original sport of public coursing dwarfing the public enterprises in the UK and particularly America where coursing was very thin on the ground. While the USA had 300 horse tracks prior to the banning  of bookmakers which reduced its numbers to about 30 it has recovered to 150 tracks though the pari mutual. The above number represents about the same number of racehorse tracks that NSW has. Simple maths will tell you that the per capita involvement in horse racing is much greater in NSW than in the USA judged on the variations in the populations. When you include the other States racetracks in Australia horse racing is much more popular per capita than the USA. The greyhound popularity is more obscure but the culture of greyhound racing in Australia derives from its genesis public greyhound coursing which was massive in Australia from its inception until mechanical racing replaced it. Practically everyone of anglo origins and others has a past cultural connection to the greyhounds. We have discovered 150 reported coursing clubs formally in NSW and coursing was arguably more popular in the Southern States. The USA had a sparse entry into coursing with the books reporting on it really stretching to find much evidence of the sport early.

  23. If we keep following  the American way of life there is a chance you will end up being shot ? and that is something that has become a culture other there.So my point is don’t compare us with them, everything they have touched they have F**ked 

  24. BobWhitelaw  Yes race relations over there are  appalling it has degenerated to starting to resemble the race riots of the 60’s. Yes it is probably a great place if you are rich but hell on earth if you are poor and it appears there are a lot of poor people. The whole argument about how many countries, is utterly irrelevant. But if you have no genuine sensible solutions or arguments the more red herrings the better.

  25. John Tracey Deborah555  Yes John,  I realise the journalist in question is quite famous he never, ever misses an opportunity to tell everyone. But thanks for all the rest of the info if you are going to criticise some-one you should have all the info about them.  I gathered from one of the comments from some-one who appeared to be a fan that it was somewhat odd his take on this. What I don’t like about him ( aside from being one of those appalling ego driven I am amazing just sit down here and I will tell you all about me type of men )  who give all men a bad name,  is whenever he does publish a comment against what he has said on twitter etc ( which is not often) he does not reply with anything vaguely resembling  a fact but responds by humiliating the person and then claiming the majority agree with him or all the intelligent people agree with him. I don’t call that good journalism. I think he has his nose out of joint because competitor journalists against the ban are getting a lot more attention than he is. If you have to encourage people to comment in the third line of your headline it would suggest perhaps desperation, they do not seem to have to encourage anyone over at the rival papers to comment there are hundreds of comments.

    I doubt whether this type of man loves greyhounds I doubt he thinks or cares about anything except himself.

    As for you statement about anglo origins I could not agree more. Everyone of anglo origins regardless of whether have  owned or trained greyhounds knows some-one who has and everyone has a “greyhound story” it is deeply embedded in the psyche of anyone of anglo origins. Apparently though if you grew up in Pakistan and later came to Australia and became a pollie this is not the case.

  26. John Tracey Deborah555 BobWhitelaw Todman  Thanks for this information John and good luck with that book which as I have already stated I would love to buy a copy of ( personally I think you can do more than one thing at once very well John)

    I think Baird scapegoating and using others will come back to haunt him. He appears to be happy to sacrifice a respected and brilliant juror ( while protecting a counsel assisting the commissioner who is actually the shyt) the National Party, liberals in marginal seats and public servants with IQ’s much higher than his. I think he can only get away with that for so long and already the tide is turning.

    I love all your ideas about the greyhounds and more involvement with the community and other groups.

    I am pretty sure that John Keniry does not want 19000 dead dogs as his legacy just before he retires- no decent person could live with themselves and he is not a pollie he is a highly educated and intelligent man.

  27. Bob their treatment of retired greyhounds is exemplary, we must strive to equalise their performance, if people only knew how great greyhounds are as pets, mine today nudged a fellow walkers hand just to get a pat.