THE Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission will launch its Roadshow on Monday as the leaders of the new regulatory and integrity body travel around the state to meet with participants and discuss the future of greyhound racing in the state.
The Roadshow will continue throughout the week, with the Commission travelling to the Hunter Valley, Wauchope, Tamworth, Lismore, Yagoona, Richmond, Dapto, Goulburn, Wagga, Bathurst and Dubbo.
The Commission’s CEO Judy Lind will be joined by Chief Commissioner Alan Brown and Commissioners John Keniry and Clare Petre as they outline the role of the Commission, discuss industry reforms and address questions and concerns from participants.
Lind told Australian Racing Greyhound the Roadshow is vital for owners, trainers, breeders and enthusiasts to attend.
“The roadshow is an opportunity for the Commission and participants to sit down and listen to each other, outline concerns, offer advice and discuss the changes coming down the track for the industry,” Lind said.
“For the Commission, it gives us the opportunity to meet with participants and communicate what our goals are and what we hope to achieve. The roadshow also gives us the opportunity to hear participants concerns and to take their feedback and suggestions on board.
“We have a reform agenda we have to implement. The last thing we want to do is impose important changes on the industry without consultation. The roadshow gives the industry a chance to be part of this process and to have a real say, early on.”
Lind said in the past the industry has struggled with communication and consultation – a trait she wants to overhaul – as well as the public’s perception regarding the Commission.
She also believes one of the biggest challenges facing the industry is building trust between the industry and the regulatory body.
“[We have heard a] concern is that the Commission is really here to shut the industry down. With any major industry reform there is always confusion and uncertainty.
“The roadshow is the first step in a in an ongoing collaborative process between the Commission and the industry. These ongoing consultative mechanisms will give all stakeholders a voice in the implementation of the reforms.
“Re-building public confidence in the industry is the key challenge facing all of us. Welfare and integrity go hand in hand in re- building public confidence in industry.
“There is a lot of work to implement the reforms. Communication, consultation and education are key.
“We have an important opportunity to get this reform agenda right and success depends on making sure the people who have to comply with these new rules are fully engaged, educated and aware of their responsibilities.
“Working together is vital.”
Despite some people feeling uncertain about the future of greyhound racing in the state, Lind said she is optimistic the sport has a bright future.
“The greyhound industry is in a unique position, it’s been given a second chance and has the opportunity to start over.
“It’s an exciting time to be involved in the industry. We believe this is a fresh start and by working together, the Commission and the industry can bring about real change and make the NSW greyhound industry, an industry to be proud of.
“The first major policy initiative is the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Greyhounds and we will be discussing the elements involved in the code of practice, during the roadshow.
“The code of practice will set minimum standards to improve the welfare of greyhounds. It’s an important reform and those seeking to participate in the industry will be required to comply with the code so it’s vital that we get it right and the industry is fully aware of its obligations.
“Being able to identify, implement and embrace the best possible welfare practices is something we’re confident we can achieve with the help of all participants and stakeholders.”
The dates for the GWIC Roadshow are as follows
Monday April 9 – Newcastle – 3am – 5pm
Tuesday April 10 – Wauchope – 5.30pm – 7.30pm
Wednesday April 11 – Tamworth – 5am – 7pm
Thursday April 12 – Lismore – 3pm – 5pm
Friday April 13 – Yagoona – 2pm – 4pm
Monday April 16 – Richmond – 6pm – 8pm
Tuesday April 17 – Dapto – 5.30pm – 7.30pm
Wednesday April 18 – Goulburn – 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Thursday April 19 – Wagga – 5.30pm – 7.30pm
Tuesday April 24 – Bathurst – 2pm – 4pm
Thursday May 3 – Dubbo – 12pm – 2pm