Victorian industry contributes more than $400 million to economy

Victorian greyhound racing

A NEW report has revealed that the Victorian greyhound industry generated more than $408 million to the state economy throughout the 2015-2016 financial year.

The findings are part of a report commissioned by Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) titled the Size and Scope of the Victorian Greyhound Racing Industry 2015 – 16, which was aimed at gaining a deeper understanding of the industry’s size and economic contribution to communities throughout Victoria.

The report was released by GRV CEO Alan Clayton and Chairman Bernie Carolan on Friday.

Carolan welcomed the report which quantified the valuable contribution greyhound racing makes to the state following an extensive period of reform since the live baiting scandal of 2015.

“The industry has gone through an unprecedented period of reform over the past two years and we have come a long way in that time,” Carolan said.

“The industry will continue to grow and change, which is why we need a comprehensive picture of where it is now, so we can plan, meet the needs of the community and build a sustainable and vibrant future for greyhound racing in Victoria.”

The report found that the industry in Victoria alone has created 2,888 jobs, 1,216 of those are full-time equivalent positions for people employed directly within the greyhound racing industry.

Additionally, there are another 1,672 full-time equivalent positions in supporting industries which includes professions such as veterinarians, tradespeople and hardware store employees.

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All up, the report noted that the Victorian greyhound racing industry generated close to $300 million in direct expenditure for the state throughout the last financial year, with the actual economic impact totalling $408.6 million when including the flow on effect of jobs, salaries, spending and profits are taken into consideration.

Of the flow-on effects, 42 per cent were found to have directly benefited regional economies, with 79 per cent of the 15,000 Victorians involved in the industry living in regional areas. The participants involved within the industry included employees, trainers, breeders, owners and volunteers.

Carolan said the report proved the overwhelmingly positive impact the sport has on communities and economies within Victoria.

“What comes through strongly in this report is the extent of the industry’s economic, social and community impacts on Victorian communities through job creation and flow-on effects, especially in regional Victoria.”

Meanwhile, CEO Alan Clayton said the report highlighted the positive contribution greyhound racing participants make to the state as a whole.

“They are the lifeblood of the industry, the great majority are passionate about what they do, it’s part business, part hobby for them and they are demonstrating that they care about the welfare of their dogs,” Clayton said.

“GRV clubs play an important social and community role, providing jobs and supporting community organisations through donations and sponsorships, particularly in regional cities and country towns.”

The report was an independent study and was compiled IER, a boutique business consultancy which specialises in research, strategy development, performance measurement and social impact studies throughout a range of industries including sports and racing.

It is the first report of its kind focusing on the sport of greyhound racing in Victoria which considers the impact of the industry in metropolitan and regional areas.

ARG – our say

Hats off to GRV for being proactive and commissioning this study. Whilst no doubt a costly exercise, the results speak for themselves and silence the naysayers who claim the industry is dying.

The report highlights the push from both the Victorian Government and GRV to clean the industry up has paid off – these results are fantastic and prove that the industry has a bright future within the state.

It is also a massive boost for the participants and workers within the sport – enforcing that their long hours and dedication to greyhound racing are having a profound effect and assisting the industry as it moves from strength to strength.

It makes one wonder if similar results would be found in other states? While Victoria has always been seen as the leading state for greyhound racing, other states such as NSW also have large breeding industries which support tens of thousand of jobs across the country.

These results really make the mind boggle how any government could consider banning the greyhound racing industry based on a small percentage of participants caught doing the wrong thing.

Hopefully other states can continue to grow with Victoria and prove once and for all that greyhound racing is here to stay and that we are the leaders in animal welfare and integrity.

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