Morris Iemma announced as chairman of reconstituted GRNSW board

Industry Update

MORRIS Iemma has been announced as the chairman of the reconstituted Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) board which will run the commercial functions of the sport in the state.

A previous Labor Premier, Iemma recently chaired the NSW Greyhound Industry Reform Panel which was created by former Premier Mike Baird when he announced a backflip on last year’s contentious greyhound racing ban.

The panel was comprised of Iemma, NSW Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association CEO Brenton Scott, the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s Simon Draper, CEO of the NSW RSPCA Steve Coleman and NSW Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss.

The panel made 122 recommendations to the government on how to reform the NSW greyhound racing industry, with all but one adopted including the separation of the commercial and regulatory functions of the authority body, the establishment of an independent integrity commission and tougher penalties for animal welfare breaches such as life bans for participants engaging in live baiting.

Upon welcoming the majority of the recommendations in March, the NSW Government also revealed that it would not be interfering to change the Intercode or Tax Parity agreements and that it would instead be giving the industry $41 million in funding over five years.

The level of funding was slammed by many government critics at the time, including Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MLC Robert Borsak who said that the funding was inadequate and that the government was merely trying to ‘ban the government by stealth’.

The new board will be comprised of five members, including the chairman, with NSW Minister for Racing Paul Toole welcoming the appointment of Iemma on Friday morning.

“Mr Iemma brings a wealth of experience and skills to the role, having led the reform panel whose recommendations formed the basis of new laws to take the industry forward,” Toole said.

“He shows a strong commitment to engage with all stakeholders involved in the industry.”

The remainder of the board is comprised of:

  • Yvonne Howie (Deputy Chair): Howie is an experienced corporate leader and is the Director, Government and Corporate at the CEO Institute. Additionally she is the director of the Combined Dispensaries Friendly Society and is a former director of both the Greater Western Sydney Economic Development Board and the GP Northside Network.
  • Michael Eberand: Eberand is a greyhound trainer and runs a financial services firm. He is also the vice-president of the Australian Federation of Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Associations.
  • Matthew Waring: lawyer who also runs an employment law and industrial relations consultancy practice. He has a history in the industry as a former chairman, treasurer and director of the Richmond Greyhound Racing Club.
  • Hugh Armenis: Partner at Bentleys, a business advisory and accounting firm. He is also a former executive director of Ernst and Young and is a registered liquidator and the current director of the board of Cure the Future, a charity with funds research into genetic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and alzheimers.

ARG – our thoughts

A positive of this announcement is that it finally appears that the ball is rolling and the reform process is kicking up a notch. It has been an uncertain few months with not much happening – at least not much being communicated to participants – so it is a relief to finally see an announcement and for the next chapter of NSW greyhound racing to be officially beginning.

Got feedback? Join the discussion Hide Comments

  1. I have no doubt with the pressure coming from all walks of the life re the greyhound industry this government had to be seen to be doing the right thing by all concern, especially after back flipping on the ban.From a Participants point of view this is a board that i believe will work for the betterment of the Industry, there's a mixer of participants with business acumen and others with vast corporate experience and headed by very successful former Premier Morris Iemma .This is a big step forward for the Industry . What is needed now, is a CEO to take the Industry to the Level that is needed to be force in the Racing Industry and not one who who has baggage form the old regime which was a proven failure for the industry over many years. I would also like to thank the Shooters Fishers& Farmers Party for taking the fight to the Government on behalf of the participants..

  2. And thanks to you Bob more than most.
    .....Well done.....

  3. There is Feed back all ready and its not good, the people in the bush feel they have been let down by the Liberal National Party. Some are saying that the choice of the two board members has left the country without a voice as the appointees are City based people with links to the Richmond Club based in the Western Suburbs of Sydney and many believe this could have repercussions for Country Tracks as there is no voice on the board for the Country, where Greyhound Racing is what brings their community together all over NSW .Some are saying its a fallacy that out of 34 applicants their was not one who had the credentials to be on the board from the bush. While I have no problem with the two new members ! I do believe that the country folk have point of argument more so with the process of who's who in the Zoo ! I now believe with this type of sedition over this misfortune for the Country Participants, The NATIONAL's will be thumped at the next election in 2019 ? and Orange was a fine example !

  4. How many of the 34 applicants were from country areas?

  5. TEN of the applicants came from the bush And Paul Newson thanked them through a departmental Letter .?. One could ask if Newson is still calling the shots for the Minster ? ( i have no doubt that's the case ) My experience with him, is that he knew F**k All about the industry !Just look at the personal he appointed when he was acting CEO of GRNSW half of the Managers that he appointed pulled the Pin or were demoted .Than we had two offices and double the staff.to run the code. Remember he supported the Ban the Liberal National Party had placed on the industry .Rod anyone that reads from a dummy card when addressing the participants tells one that has no idea what was the best outcome for Greyhound Racing here in NSW. .I thought the Nats might have learn't a lesson out of the Orange By Election but apparently not, with Labor looking good in Bathurst in 2019 with the Shooters Fishers & Farmers party also in the mix.