Greyhound racing has won the battle, but the war is not over

THE is done and dusted.

For now.

When officially announced the backflip at noon today, collective cheers could be heard from within the industry. But just how loud should we be cheering?

It’s still unknown precisely what the future of greyhound racing within New South Wales will look like.

Several leading news sources have tossed around ideas of track closures, less racing and hefty bonds for every pup born. Some have even detailed the guarantees and commitments put forward by the Greyhound Racing Industry – one of which is a program which would limit the amount of pups bred per year to 2,000.

The Alliance guaranteed this figure to the government when trying to negotiate a way out of the ban back in August. Credit where credit is due, they had a big hand in overturning the ban, but should the industry really be crumpling at the knees so easily?

Sure, it’s great we have our sport back, however, the industry also had Mike Baird and his government in a figurative chokehold – so why are we compromising so much, so soon?

Whilst the industry needs to make improvements, the 15 months prior to the ban had seen sweeping reform which halved the numbers of litters bred each year, reduced the amount of racetrack injuries and ensured more greyhounds were given the chance to live full, happy lives post-racing.

A representative from the Alliance told Australian Racing Greyhound today that the breeding restrictions are not locked in, no breeding bond is in place and no tracks are, at this stage, set to close.

This can be interpreted as a direct contradiction to some of the wording in Baird’s press conference today. An interesting point in itself.

The spokesperson said the new oversight body set to reform the industry would be looking at recommendations two through to 80, including the intercode agreement, in order to draw up a framework for the structure and future governance of the industry.

In other words, nothing is set in stone.

I think someone forgot to tell this to Mike Baird before his announcement today and it’s a shame because there are better ways to fix the industry than what has been thrown around in news reports today.

While we must look after our animals as the number one priority, lets not compromise the essence of greyhound racing when we have finally received a realistic chance to improve the sport for the better.

Lets not get so caught up in the excitement of having the ban tossed out that we sign into something which could result in the death of the sport down the track.

If our source from the Alliance is correct and the other recommendations from the McHugh report are set to be discussed by the new oversight body, lets ensure first and foremost that all revenue and taxation under the intercode and the agreements are adjusted to give greyhound racing its fair share.

This is not a move to profit trainers, it is something which would ensure the industry becomes a world leader in animal welfare, and regulation. Without getting our slice of what we are entitled to, the industry once again becomes a target and a ticking time bomb whilst the thoroughbred industry booms off our revenue.

Secondly, lets upgrade our tracks to ensure better racing, but also to provide facilities for trainers and their greyhounds so that the health and fitness of every greyhound is kept at an optimum level.

Sure, put in place some breeding restrictions to make sure the industry can cope with the welfare of the amount of dogs born into it – but make sure they are also realistic to keep up with the demands of racing.

Hand in hand with this, we need a grading system which caters for every greyhound physically and mentally able to race. Who cares if your dog can run 22 or 25 seconds – they are born to run (no matter how fast they are) and by providing greater opportunities on the track, we are in turn improving animal welfare outcomes by ensuring more dogs make it to the track.

Also on the cards is a separation of the commercial and regulatory functions of the governing body. While this is a positive, let’s make sure we get some people at the top who actually give a damn about the industry. Enough of these bureaucrats with dreams of one day becoming a politician, let’s get someone in there with some ticker who wants to see the greyhound industry thrive.

So friends, of course let’s celebrate today, we have won the first round of the David and Goliath battle of Australian politics, but, just remember, the war is certainly not over yet.

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John Tracey
John Tracey
4 years ago

Katherine All good legislation can be amended from time to time so nothing is set in stone. The Problem previously is that the Department of Racing have had multiple tries at writing greyhound Acts and regulations and have failed miserably to produce any act that simply can be amended so we have been constantly been occupied in dealing with unintended negative consequences. The country tracks particularly have been involved in a short period by six show causes which has the effect of having a volunteer force valued at about M per year focussed on survival and becoming risk adverse on… Read more »

Deborah555
Deborah555
4 years ago

John Tracey  The usual great read.

Jason Caley
Jason Caley
4 years ago

I wonder if the backflip came at the Blue Mountains resort where they spent K for a single government department to ponder their blunders.

Reference: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/baird-takes-bureaucrats-on-80000-threeday-retreat-to-reflect-on-bungles/news-story/600eb77bd9beff227985bd27019951af

Hats off NSW Premier and Cabinet department. This backflip will not save your government.

spyman
spyman
4 years ago

John Tracey 

spyman
spyman
4 years ago

John Tracey  if all good/bad legislation can be amended at any time,how is that worth the effort in this case? did the industry just not go thru a trying time based on a governments amendment of the existing laws of the state in relation to the industry of the day by a sweep of the biro?we in effect,allowed them,the government,to amend at it’s whim because it was the ‘right thing to do”?wouldn’t be a safe move to have such flimsy regulations there in the first place.maybe explains why the industry leaders have failed before,and in its present form,be open to further failure.… Read more »

MickThompson
MickThompson
4 years ago

Absolutely brilliant stuff Katherine everyone needs to read this.

Deborah555
Deborah555
4 years ago

spyman John Tracey  spyman I got a little hint in a newspaper article  that Mikey is looking at the Victorian model which is a great idea better than AA advice.

lone widow
lone widow
4 years ago

Former NSW premier Kristina Keneally offered us a red flag.  She said that she agreed with the ban it’s just that Mike Baird went about it the wrong way.

I believe the issue will re-appear at some stage and next time they will make no mistakes. We really have to be ahead of the game.

I can’t help feeling this way but that’s just me.

Deborah555
Deborah555
4 years ago

lone widow  I agree we have to remain vigilante forever against the forces that would see us all eat cardboard and have no pets because the fanatics are relentless. Keneally is just looking for press and she doesn’t get much these days- and for some-one who loves the sound of own her voice as she does I’d say desperate withdrawal symptoms from not getting enough attention  -the ABC trot her out occasionally for her views on slow news days. She carried on giving Mike advice about how to go about all this and how right he was to do it (it… Read more »

Deborah555
Deborah555
4 years ago

Deborah555 lone widow  PS Mike has now moved onto the lock out laws and the social keyboard warriors are following him- the holier than thou set are now expressing their views on how everyone else should behave over on the lockout law pages. We might get a bit of piece for a while especially now they have discovered we are more than willing to fight back – great show I thought for a bunch of illiterate bogans in tracksuits  weren’t  they all surprised when we would not lie.down. A lot of the papers are saying great job Mike overturning the ban… Read more »

John Tracey
John Tracey
4 years ago

lone widow No it is not just you. But the political point made was that the Premier has put himself on the line to support the greyhounds and that he is now in partnership with the greyhounds on needing the success of the welfare reforms. I think that this is true but what a great position it is for animal welfare.and for us to be in. The Ex premier’s point is only true if we stuff things up. It is abundantly clear to the task force chief that the great people who built greyhound racing infrastructure using a lot of… Read more »

davidf82
davidf82
4 years ago

Deborah555 lone widow  Completely agree about Keneally – one of the greatest hypocrites ever in NSW politics. She did Obeid’s bidding in knocking of Nathan Rees when he showed a willingness to clean up the NSW ALP during his short stint as Premier.

.

John Tracey
John Tracey
4 years ago

Deborah555 spyman John Tracey Spyman, Thanks for your reply, you are not to harsh. The original reforms in 1998 (The float) were due to the National Competition Committee reforms 1994-1995 (look up the senate committee report on the Hilmer reforms) I was at it as an industrial representative of aggrieved architects. The reform included arrangements where the Government Departments and Agencies could delegate the public interest to statutory bodies (NFP as well) if the public interest could be satisfied by the agency leaving the public service. Racing also got an exemption (rent licence is that the term) as an exclusion from the… Read more »

BJoe
BJoe
4 years ago

davidf82 Deborah555 lone widow

CK was nothing more than Eddie O’Beids puppet while Premier of this State.

BJoe
BJoe
4 years ago

John Tracey Deborah555 spyman

Great read John. Your 20% estimate of people not interested in racing in any form might not be right.  I think it should be more like 80% to 90%.  Just my thoughts, not criticism.

BobWhitelaw
BobWhitelaw
4 years ago

Grant has already stated that, rec 64  of the McHugh report is off the Table . So where is the money coming from for these reforms that the Alliance has agreed on, Maybe the Alliance might be ask to fund it.LOL

BobWhitelaw
BobWhitelaw
4 years ago

John how are you going to save the Country Tracks from the cut ,The Alliance will look after their tracks first and i feel they wont care to much for the others .The only person  who trying to keep Country tracks alive ,is Robert Borsak from the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party.

Mad Panda
Mad Panda
4 years ago

Just remove gambling from the sport. Problems solved. Half of these so called ‘dog lovers’ will just walk away

Mad Panda
Mad Panda
4 years ago

John Tracey lone widow So why did the welfare of the animals become so poor??  How did it get to this? A , wastage rate’of over 50%?? Is that right?

John Tracey
John Tracey
4 years ago

BobWhitelaw Need to rattle the future fund tin- Go for an extra ordinary gratis payment and get grants from other departments etc. 

BobWhitelaw
BobWhitelaw
4 years ago

Someone left the door open of the Bamboo cage and there’s one on the loose ! LOL

John Tracey
John Tracey
4 years ago

BJoe John Tracey  The 20% comes from the productivity commissions statistics sourced from the census (ABS but the number might be greater as some of these people would only bet on the Melbourne cup etc. 

Deborah555
Deborah555
4 years ago

BobWhitelaw  Good one Bob

Deborah555
Deborah555
4 years ago

BJoe davidf82 Deborah555 lone widow  Yes he was a true labor bloke Obeid wasn’t he? looking after ordinary working Australians as long as they had a sideline in coal leases, lol  I hold him responsible for Mike being the Premier now. His behaviour brought the Labor party down.

Deborah555
Deborah555
4 years ago

Mad Panda John Tracey lone widow  No

Deborah555
Deborah555
4 years ago

BobWhitelaw  Sack Grant- Mike could just make a finger puppet that nods nobody would notice the difference and his enormous salary and expenses would rehome a few hundred greyhounds every year.

MickThompson
MickThompson
4 years ago

Mad Panda John Tracey lone widow 

Figures that are false

lone widow
lone widow
4 years ago

Mad Panda John Tracey lone widow Ask the expert, ring ‘Mehreen Faruqi.’

Deborah555
Deborah555
4 years ago

lone widow Mad Panda John Tracey I bet she is pissed after jumping into bed with him over all the other issues he wanted passed through parliament because she thought he would ban racing for her in exchange lol  silly girl

lone widow
lone widow
4 years ago

Deborah555 lone widow Mad Panda John Tracey I often wonder if politicians really understand the fickle nature of their chosen vocation.

How better life could be for them if they realized they actually work for us the people.

lone widow
lone widow
4 years ago

Deborah555 Mad Panda John Tracey  PS.  For too many of them i think it’s about their second term pension.

Deborah555
Deborah555
4 years ago

lone widow Deborah555 Mad Panda John Tracey  Whether you love him or hate him – Mike’s  a clever career pollie ( must have learned a few tricks from Bruce he survived for decades in the political arena.) Got all the legislation he wanted passed with the help of the greens who wanted racing gone, kept em happy for a while, backflipped LNP one big happy family again, scores heaps of points as a pollie who listens ( the animal activists will stop screaming soon and move onto another cause I think this month’s flavour of the month is Monash uni.) Liberal voters who had thought… Read more »

Deborah555
Deborah555
4 years ago

lone widow Deborah555 Mad Panda John Tracey  PS you were right John when you said the love affair between him and the greens would be soon over. Hot tongue and cold shoulder now.

Lone widow- wasn’t Mr Hinch upset when he didn’t get two terms he now has to be re- elected. Apparently his lawyers told him there was nothing he could do so he just slept it off in Parliament

lone widow
lone widow
4 years ago

Deborah555 lone widow Mad Panda John Tracey He’s so readable Deborah he tried to be so poker faced about it, his erraticism has left him penniless in the past.  Looking for a bit of security in his old age.

Deborah555
Deborah555
4 years ago

lone widow Deborah555 Mad Panda John Tracey  Poor old Mehreen didn’t read him too well though did she. That’s why she is so pissed she doesn’t give a damn about greyhound just wanted a second term after her appointment to secure her old age and now she will have to make new signs for the next cause.

Sue Carter
Sue Carter
4 years ago

Well said Kat, you are right in everything you have said.

Vicki Ross
Vicki Ross
4 years ago

Yes she is right,this war is not over,question marks on who,what where and when have to be answered.I personally do not like the clause we are on our last chance.Have other animal sports been put on notice,i think not.the whole argument on this is how it was not right to punish the innocent and the impact the ban will have on country towns will be devastating.how is closure of tracks a win to the people who have fought to save the industry to ensure there towns survive.too many unanswered questions.