A TRANSCRIPT from a private phone conversation between a greyhound trainer and the former CEO of Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) has been made public as the government continues to push for the industry to be banned.
The NSW government released documentation on Wednesday evening which was tabled at Parliament by Deputy Premier Troy Grant, discrediting trainer Tony Gannon who has been vocal in the fight to oppose the ban.
Of the two documents, the first was a transcript of an interview Gannon was part of during the Special Commission of Inquiry, the second being a transcript of a phone call between Gannon and former GRNSW CEO Brent Hogan.
The phone call was from Wednesday, February 11, 2016, days before the ABC’s Four Corners program titled ‘Making A Killing’ was aired.
Gannon had called Hogan after learning that other trainers had been caught on camera live baiting their greyhounds and was seemingly trying to find out further information.
“Two gentleman got caught getting a possum on – a possum for live kill,” Gannon said during the phone call.
“I don’t know why they didn’t go and bash them and take the camera. I’d have took the camera off them,” he later said.
The phone call was recorded by GRNSW, which records all calls ‘for training, quality assurance and probity purposes’ and was investigated by David Madden, an independent investigator engaged by the controlling body, in April 2015 – two months after the Four Corners program was aired.
Madden’s report was later used as part of the Special Commission of Inquiry, but it was also sent directly to Premier Mike Baird by interim CEO Paul Newson.
Newson sent the report to Baird and Grant on July 19, 2016, nearly one week after the announcement of his resignation and news that an administrator had been appointed to assist with the wind down of the industry.
Gannon is a part of the Greyhound Action Group which was instrumental in pushing for a Parliamentary Inquiry into greyhound racing back in 2013.
The Parliamentary Inquiry was chaired by Robert Borsak from the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party and was largely focused on overturning the inter-code agreement which dictates prize money distribution between the three racing codes as well as the alleged mismanagement of GRNSW.
The subsequent report tabled in March 2014 made 18 recommendations for improving the management of the industry, consultation with participants and separating the integrity functions of the controlling body.
Consequently, the state government failed to implement any changes to the sport of greyhound racing.