NCA Searching For Answers Over NSW Deregistration

NCA President Kevin Gordon said The NSW National Coursing Association (NCA) is asking for answers following Greyhound Racing NSW’s (GRNSW) decision to cancel the NCA’s registration as a greyhound racing club.

GRNSW announced late last Friday night that its Board had decided to cancel the NCA’s registration, effective from last Sunday night. Something it is entitled to do under the Act.

The decision effectively brings an end to the NCA’s 105-year end tenure as a racing entity and follows an extensive – and expensive – process that commenced back in February when GRNSW issued the NCA with a show cause notice concerning its financial viability.

The NCA had not requested any financial assistance from GRNSW and was confident the NCA was well on the road to recovery.

After receiving representations from the NCA regarding this show cause notice, on April 8 GRNSW appointed Deloitte to conduct the affairs of the NCA.

The GRNSW press release announcing the decision to cancel the NCA’s registration stated the Board of GRNSW “formed the view that the NCA is not, or will not be, financially viable in relation to participation in the greyhound racing industry and that in any event it would be in the best interests of the greyhound racing industry to cancel the NCA’s registration as a greyhound racing club”.

The NCA has taken issue with both reasons provided for the cancellation of its registration. Earlier in this process, an independent report conducted by prominent Newcastle accounting firm, Blackburns, found the NCA to be in a financially viable position, both now and into the future.

However, GRNSW elected to appointed Deloitte to manage the affairs of The Gardens. Three months later Deloitte produced a detailed report into The Gardens; with sections of the report painting a similar positive picture as the earlier Blackburn report. Deloitte provided several business models that provided a 91% probability of a viable NCA future.

The NCA is questioning why GRNSW’s financial concerns weren’t raised prior to the two entities agreeing to a co-ownership arrangement at The Gardens in March 2012, which saw GRNSW extinguish the remainder of the NCA’s Gardens debt and claim a 70 per cent stake in the complex.

At this time the NCA was handed a 99-year lease to conduct greyhound racing at The Gardens.

The second reason given by GRNSW for cancelling the NCA’s license is the disconcertingly vague “best interests of the greyhound racing industry”. Which GRNSW is entitled to do under the powers of the Act, however without supporting argument it creates more questions than answers. Not surprisingly, considering the NCA’s long history, the millions of dollars it has poured into The Gardens complex over the past decade and the positive financial picture painted in aspects of both the Deloitte and Blackburn reports, the NCA have requested a more detailed explanation from GRNSW for the decision.

“It is very important that participants in The Hunter are not effected by this, we are assured that this will be the case by GRNSW” Mr Gordon said.