Scott addresses objectives of Greyhound Industry Reform Panel

Update: NEW South Wales Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association (GBOTA) CEO Brenton Scott says the industry has not been locked into a strict 2,000 dogs per annum breeding cap.

This comes despite the fact that the figure was submitted to NSW Premier Mike Baird on August 9 as a part of four guarantees made to the government by the NSW Greyhound Racing Industry Alliance as it fought to have the controversial greyhound racing ban overturned.

The guarantees have since been stated (read below) as part of the terms of reference for the newly established Greyhound Racing Industry Reform Panel.

The new panel, formed after Baird announced his reversal of the ban, is made of five members, led by former Premier Morris Iemma, Brenton Scott representing the industry, as well as representatives from the Department of Primary Industry, Department of the Premier and the RSPCA.

An expert advisory committee is also expected to be formed in the near future to assist the panel in making recommendations to the government on how to ensure the future of greyhound racing within NSW.

Scott said while the cap of 2,000 dogs bred per year had been removed from the guarantees prior to the panel’s introductory meeting on Friday, the industry still remains devoted to the commitments put forward to the Premier.

“The commitments are a controlled breeding program, a total lifecycle management for all greyhounds that are bred, zero tolerance for animal cruelty and the provision of optimum levels of animal safety,” Scott told Australian Racing Greyhound.

“The Alliance have raised [the 2,000 breeding cap] specifically with the Premier and Deputy Premier.

“Since [August 9] the Alliance has taken its position to Greyhounds Australasia and has explained that the concept of a controlled breeding program needs to have a national focus.

“We need to understand what’s needed to cater for the entire national racing program at a given time and all of our planning needs to be between two and five years ahead.

“We obviously can’t breed more than we need to cater for that racing program, once we ensure the national level and the flow between states, then it will become an easier process to determine the breeding levels that should apply in each state.

“It’s not about approaching this issue from a breeding cap point of view, but approaching it from an appreciation that we shouldn’t be breeding excess to our racing needs and we shouldn’t be breeding excess to our capacity to re-home in a manner that is line with community expectations.”

Whilst the official letter to the Premier, sent on August 9, has not been made public, Scott said there have been no further commitments made to the government aside from what was outlined in the Alliance press release on that same date.

“There is no variation there at all,” Scott said, referring any differences between the letter to the Premier and the press release dated the same day.

Scott also said the breeding cap of 2,000 has since been removed as a part of the industry’s guarantees to the government. However, the terms of reference for the new reform panel, drafted on Wednesday, specifically cite the guarantees made on the August 9.

“[The cap of 2,000] was a condition on August 9 and it was something which was rejected by the government when they went to the Upper House two days later.

“The next time we spoke to the government about the industry’s capability to provide guarantees, the breeding cap number was taken off the table, but what stays on the table is a sophisticated approach to a controlled breeding program.

“That is what the industry needs and it is what the government and community want.”

Scott said whilst the Alliance made guarantees to the government on how greyhound racing could be reformed, he is also hopeful the industry will be able to benefit from some major changes as a result of the Panel’s work.

“The industry will be seeking to have a robust animal welfare framework with world leading practices, secondly we want to ensure we come out of this process with best practice regulation and supervisory models in place.

“Our third ambition is to emerge from this with a funding model which has regard for our commercial, regulatory and animal welfare obligations.

“This means our wagering returns across Tabcorp earnings, race field earnings and taxation parity earnings need to be based on a performance model where our returns are connected to our market share.

“That will be strongly put as one of our three principle requirements out of this process.

“We have had a lot of attempts to have it dealt with. The Cameron Report is probably the only truly independent assessment of wagering arrangements in NSW and that report in 2008 recommended a movement to a competitive based distribution model.

“Then we had the Select Committee Inquiry that made similar observations and now we have the McHugh Report making a recommendation that market share principles ought to apply.

“People need to sit down and consider change. Now is the time for it to be carefully and rationally considered.”

With both the Alliance’s letter to the Premier and its media release on August 9 specifically mentioned within the terms of reference of the Greyhound Industry Reform Panel, Australian Racing Greyhound attempted to reach out to the Premier’s office for clarification.

Unfortunately, our requests for information went unanswered.

Terms of reference for the Greyhound Industry Reform Panel

THE New South Wales Government has unveiled the terms of reference for the newly established Greyhound Industry Reform Panel.

The Panel, to be led by ex-Premier Morris Iemma, was announced by Premier Mike Baird following his decision to reverse the controversial greyhound racing ban.

The panel will consider the recommendations outlined in the report of the Special Commission of Inquiry as tabled by Justice Michael McHugh. The panel will also take into account the industry reform guarantees put forward to the NSW Government by the NSW Greyhound Racing Industry Alliance in both its letter to the Premier and media release on August 9.

Interestingly, the terms of reference – found at the NSW Government website here, have been drafted by Philippa King – ­director of social policy and a close advisor to Mike Baird – and not the state’s racing minister, Troy Grant.

A point to take note of in the terms of reference below is the following:

  • Ensure that the guarantees provided by the Alliance to the government are incorporated into the governance, regulatory and animal welfare proposals put forward by the panel.

This point in the document directly refers to ‘guarantees’ made by the Alliance and suggests that whatever has been agreed to is going to be part of any future greyhound racing model.

Also set for consideration are the current reforms having been undertaken by Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) and the report from head of the Greyhounds Transition Taskforce, Dr John Keniry, as well as further input from an Expert Advisory Committee, as sought by the panel.

The panel is set to prepare a number of recommendations to the government targeting a series of issues relating to governance, integrity and animal welfare standards.

The particular goals of the panel are as follows:

– To develop an appropriate governance structure for the industry which will be the benchmark in its field. The structure should ensure best practice across the state in regards to both transparency and integrity within the industry.

– Put together a detailed plan for animal welfare, which will ensure best practice across the industry, with a particular focus on eradicating wastage and live baiting within the sport. This could be achieved by recommending appropriate changes to the regulatory frameworks, penalties for rule breaches and compliance mechanisms.

– Make recommendations on a new and independent regulator for the industry which has powerful compliance mechanisms which can ensure governance of the sport and proper execution of the animal welfare plan.

– Make recommendations on how to improve the safety of both racing and training environments for greyhounds, including track design, with the goal being to eliminate the occurrence of injury.

– Ensure that the guarantees provided by the Alliance to the government are incorporated into the governance, regulatory and animal welfare proposals put forward by the panel.

– Suggest any extra measures which should be undertaken by the industry to meet community expectations in regards to integrity and the welfare of the animals within the industry.

– Propose any other relevant recommendations considered necessary to ensure community confidence in the industry is restored.

– Propose a timeframe and criteria for a Statutory Review of the new legislation.

AustralianRacingGreyhound will provide more on this story as details come to hand.

Past Discussion

  1. D123 Deborah555  I knew you were an anti greyhound racing nutter  from the beginning I just fobbed you off so I could spend time  finding  an article for some one on this site not waste my time for you and if I am wrong who cares I have as much influence on the government as you do none.

    I think you are just desperately trying to prove how clever you are and you have presented me with no evidence of that whatsoever.

    Sorry I am off to the track to race my dog. You did hear that didn’t you racing is back on never even stopped for a minute despite all your “clever” arguments and number crunching  and outrage you lost get used to the idea. Money talks you lost how many times do you need to be told. Go and try to save those male chickens just terrible that isn’t it?

  2. BobWhitelaw  I agree Bob that caution is required but all this number stuff is just a distraction and is being used to suggest we are backing away from promises. Agree to a number and then renegotiate when the heat dies down if necessary. There is only one track they really want closed and that is the very valuable one in Sydney they can use that to negotiate for the other tracks to stay open.  Whilst I normally agree with what you say I think Wheeler is the last person who should be there. His breeding habits will leave the industry open to attack. I think one of the people they need to perhaps advise them is a sensible rational non lunatic animal activist without a barrow to push from the rehoming places they know what it takes and I have actually met a couple of them.

  3. BobWhitelaw  PS the right wing rag SMH is on the job again what a bunch of sore losers. Just accept reality Alan is the man and he does it without wearing a ridiculous bandana.

    The ABC -what is that organisation a branch of Animals Australia last night another graphic disturbing bit of animal snuff and porn this time about cows and ” They are thinking about banning racing in Argentina” according to the ABC because apparently dogs are left to starve in the street no mention of the millions of people starving to death in the streets.

    And another headline ” last greyhound track in London gone”- no mention of the new state of the art facility they bought the dog people to replace it. London pollies were upfront we want the land what do you want in exchange.

    If they want to use a tax payer funded organisation to push the Animals Australia agenda – pull all tax payer funding from them and lynny can pay that’s what they do isn’t it make people aware and they have millions and have not wasted a cent on an animal.

  4. What concerns everybody is the Keniry Report  will not see the light of Day, it was too damaging on the governments decision to shut down the industry !

  5. Not one mention where the money is coming from to fund this changes . Borsak and Foley have said we must re visit the Inter-Code  but Grant and Baird wont go there because for years they have been stood over by the over two codes, unless there is changes in funding we are GONE its as simply as that  !

  6. BobWhitelaw D123 Deborah555 Bit rich coming from someone that was formerly suspended for threatening people, not to mention being named by Tony Gannon as a live-baiter!

  7. BobWhitelaw Give it a break Bob. Animals Australia already have you up as their pin up boy with your comments on TV that the industry will be gone in 3 years. It does not help the cause.

  8. GeoffWilson BobWhitelaw Geoff I stand by them comments, these self appointed leaders who are the ones putting us in that position not me. We had them on the ropes, the Orange by-election was going to be the killer blow which would have given us clout with the Government but our so called leaders backed down  and weaken our position. Just look at team  headed by iemma that they have given us now, before the back flip we where odds on we would survive now we are a 5/1 chance with one industry person on the team. Geoff if I”am wrong i’ll put my hand  up and say i’am wrong but with the back flip, within 3 years  i believe with the new  regulations and no money from the ICA we are gone, like i and many others we believe  it will fall over, Geoff i hope i’am wrong because i’ll loose everything that i’ve worked hard for  its not a white flag its reality ! 

  9. D123 BobWhitelaw Deborah555 Well D123  I suggest that should put forward any information re the claim of live baiting by myself, as this claim by one individual  is before the courts and my solicitor would love to hear from you,  but because of the issue is before the courts  i won’t comment and further it might prejudice my case.As you may have information re this matter  how does he contact a person with a name D123 is it in the phone book i doubt it.As for the suspension from the GBOTA the finish product of that issue also finished in Courts were one was convicted  of using a conveyance to threaten and stalk by family members of the of the person who filed the original complaint..You freely band around peoples names maybe its time to take off you HOOD and tell us all your agenda maybe your  into  supporting Peter Singers out look on life?

  10. BobWhitelaw D123 Deborah555  Good work Bob I knew we would finally get one.. As you know I have studied law at uni but never practised so I had a word with a lawyer friend and he said it is a piece of piss to find out who posted it but he said the only problem MAY be that the defence will argue that this person is such a non event that maybe it would be hard to prove your reputation has been damaged because who would listen to this fool. However on the sub judice ( before the courts no problem) I will be in contact we are a pretty good team really. We might see who else is silly enough to keep doing this.

  11. BobWhitelaw  Bob when your enemies tell you to pull your head in you know you are heading in the right direction but when the people who love you dearly tell you  well—–.

    It is obvious where disgruntled national party voters will go not to Labor put shooters and fishers. I spoke to some one at the track the other day and he donates or did more money every year to the national party than I earn in three years gross. He has left the party and he is not on his own.  The paid up party members are pissed not just about the dogs but the attack on country life and Grant still being there. These people do not have short memories they have memories that make an elephant look like he is suffering from dementia.

  12. BobWhitelaw D123  PSS if we decide to go ahead I can do all the grunt work to save costs and he will just act as the mouthpiece in court that’s what I normally do have saved myself thousands over the years. Anyway the rest not on the public domain which of course you understand

  13. Deborah555 D123  So you do not have any answers to any of the points raised that could actually be backed up by real evidence so that’s the best you got?  Well I’m not really worried about legal action from a greyhound breeder who cannot even get her facts straight. 

  14. D123 Deborah555 What made you think I was talking about you – you just got the message because you are part of the forum – you’re just a flea a bit of a pest that I amuse myself with when I am bored. Nobody cares what you think a court would laugh if I suggested what you post is of any significance. Get over yourself. I would never post the name of who I had in mind on a public domain.

  15. BobWhitelaw D123  The RSPCA doesn’tcreate the problem in the first place. The greyhound industry DOEScreate the problem in the first place. That is the difference.Another difference is that the RSPCA CAN and DOES provide euthanasia statistics, whereas the greyhound industry, ACTIVELY HIDES andFALSIFIES theirs.

  16. Deborah555 D123   I guess you can only resort to stupid remarks since none of you can actually string a sentence together without contradicting yourselves and cant even provide any facts.

    I’m still waiting to hear back from Deborah as to whether GRNSW are dodgy or not.  She said that according to them ‘breeding rates down 50% voluntarily last year’ but next sentence says their records are dodgy.  So which is it?

  17. Deborah555 BobWhitelaw D123 The problem I have with these types of conversations is that you are letting someone who is clearly against you control the agenda.

    The lessons learned by Government in the greyhound dispute are.

    The two social licence exercises of the past have lead into disasters for Government when the Governments of the day have tried or have introduced legislation to ban industries or activities that are legal but are regarded as undesirable.

    The Chifley Government applied a social licence test on the banks just after WW2. Chifley in effect was seen to be taking the freedom of small business enterprise into s big business centrally controlled banking system. He lost the election on the desertion of small business in favour of large business. The NSW Liberals are seen any many  as deserting their grass roots ie Small business.

    The Menzies Government banned the Communist Party with full support from the Labor opposition. The polling showed that 80% of the public at the time supported the ban. The ban was unconstitutional and to succeed the legislation required that the constitution be amended to include the ban of a political party. The ban failed to obtain both a majority of States or a majority of votes although the vote was close. Both the above conditions were required for the legislation to have force. Interestingly above situation saw the issue before the public become one of basic freedoms and divided both the liberal and labor parties with the second longest serving prime ministers parents died in the wool liberals voting against the ban.

    This brings us to the current situation where greyhound racing has been banned on a social licence basis basis and is to be repealed. The matter being debated here is about the euthanasia of greyhounds which is a legal entitlement of an owner or by delegation powers of a Vet which is legal but regarded as not socially acceptable.

    The Government can change behaviour by the way it taxes its citizens but in Racing it has a duty to the viability of racing for 99 years under a set of contracts that requires reforms to be of benefit to racing. Governments can always legislate to break contracts as long as they pay adequate compensation.

    The Government have decided that tax on wagering reductions are required for racing to be viable and have legislated accordingly and have placed the benefit into a future fund which is independent of the 99 year code contents. This fund in my view gives the Government the power to control behaviour along social licence criteria as the reviews are by the parliament and not fixed to the same compensation exposure of the Government.

    The other agenda items with regard criminal matters are covered under genetic regulations and legisaltion

    applying to all. 

    and finally all public interest matters have commercial upside opportunities as well as purely ethical.Good ethics translates into good business.

  18. John Tracey Deborah555 BobWhitelaw D123  John I know your policy is non response and it is a great idea. Your job is to provide brilliant information and ideas for the rest of us I am not as clever as you I see my role as letting some of these people know that if necessary we can use social media as well. I think it is time some of them were challenged they have been using social media for quite some time and lets be honest Mike took notice of it and look where it led to. Of  course to be quite honest I do have a cruel streak when it comes to fools I just cannot help myself. I will keep myself under control a bit more now we have racing back you did pick me I am a smiling assassin love deb

  19. Deborah555 John Tracey BobWhitelaw D123  PS only a smiling assassin if you are the enemy if you are on my side no one is more loyal.

  20. Deborah555 John Tracey BobWhitelaw D123  John it was entirely my fault Bob and Todman were just coming to my rescue and I am one of those old fashioned women who appreciate chivalrous behaviour in men but I will tone myself done a bit.

  21. Deborah555 D123  John, I think you are forgetting an extremely significant and successful social license exercise by a Government, one that is much more relevant to the recent greyhound ban than the two examples you used.  This would be the changes to gun control and the banning of semi-automatic weapons in 1996.

    Similarly in 1996, with the proposed changes and ban, many pro-gun people used the argument that 99% of them hadn’t done anything wrong and that it was their legal entitlement and that people would lose their livelihoods.  Arguments that should sound extremely familiar.

    Additionally, the majority of the public supported the changes to the gun laws and the ban of certain weapons.  There was opposition from states and rural Australia.  Again this should sound familiar.

    Needless to say the changes and ban have been successful in stopping massacres and reducing gun crime and killings. 

    Having said that, I am interested to hear your specific ideas on how the fund can be used to control behaviour?

  22. D123 Deborah555 Fair comment. The Gun industry has  not been closed down  but regulated so good regulation can provide a good result.An amnesty can be declared as well and this has been done in one of the other codes previously.( I was worried that an amnesty might occur in the greyhounds and I was glad it did not as the situation in my view did not warrant it.)

    Behaviour can be changed in a good way by the introduction of incentives such as rewards through a KPI, 

    Also legislation and regulation must be of a good quality and pass the test of being effective and economical.

    The problem with the current agreements of 99 years is that they lock the Government into the agreements as well as if you change them by legislation there is an exposure to compensation.

    The Government has legislated for the return of the Future fund. This fund is independent of the other greyhound contracts and carries a 5 year review. The Government (parliament) is responsible for the public interest, this is their only consideration and you can call it as a responsibility of grant the social licences by delegation of its responsibility to others. 

    The trust fund for the first five years gives wagering tax relief funding to the codes in proportions it has worked out though the assessment of each codes contribution to NSW and the Tax relief is K for the five years and assessed at 10% for the greyhounds.

    The Government have determined that Animal Welfare is high on the Social Licence scale and I agree with this. The Government regard the welfare of horses as better than the greyhounds and part of the reason would be that the contract funding which gives the horse more of the market share than the greyhounds )inter code percentages) leads to better welfare of the animal.

    It seems logical to me that there is a backlog of animal welfare services and infrastructure on greyhound tracks caused  by the lack of funding and in the community clubs position caused by the policy of the control board not to provide capital works funding to them. Also other external funds of capital works that the community clubs were entitled to were disadvantaged by control board recommendation when approached. 

    The answer to any backlog maintenance backlog or infrastructure is to make payments up front to cure the situation.

    Therefore in the second traunche  of the future fund when K will be available Then a first charge should be made to the greyhounds to fix up infrastructure and services on racetracks and associated grounds taking advantage of both volunteer and unpaid labor as well as the rest. These services are not in existence or are done by other volunteer services so the question of competitive neutrality does not arise (taking the work off paid workers)

    The solution in my view is to take funding for greyhound animal welfare as a first charge from the future fund before distribution of percentage to all codes. This will over time bring the animal welfare budget in line with the three codes and put them on a proportional equal playing field.

    The infrastructure and services would be revenue positive and this would mean that dividends in the form of prise money would increase also allowing the people who race greyhounds to partly pay for their  greyhounds keep would also be able to do it. and finally the people adopting greyhounds would be rewarded by amenity and activities on tracks etc.

    Because of the immediacy of the situation I would ask that an instrument could be found for the borrowing of funding to be available as an under writing by the next five years first charge.

  23. The industry will be seeking to have a robust animal welfare framework with world leading practices, secondly we want to ensure we come out of this process with best practice regulation and supervisory models in place”.

    This type of nonsensical guff can be read in every annual report that GRNSW has ever published. What has changed? NOTHING!