NSW tracks dilemma: greyhound racing… without the racing

NEW South Wales greyhound trainers were left furious after the Gosford meeting was cancelled on Thursday night due to track surface issues.

A Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) press release issued on Friday morning advised ‘stewards and veterinarians found the racing surface to be too hard and held concerns that it would jeopardise the welfare of greyhounds if racing took place. After consultation with the curator at the Gosford track, this left GRNSW no choice but to abandon the meeting’.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for many trainers who had been affected by the abandonment of the Maitland meeting the week prior.

Both tracks are operated by the NSW Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association (GBOTA).

GBOTA CEO Brenton Scott said his organisation was disappointed to have lost the meetings and concedes communication in regards to track standards and preparation must be assessed moving forward.

“It is obviously disappointing to lose any meetings but the meetings have been cancelled on the basis of safety,” Scott said.

“The GBOTA is supportive of a centralised system that strives to present consistent and safe tracks. We advocated for the appointment by GRNSW of a central track maintenance manager and we support the objectives of a central system having oversight across all NSW tracks.

“We regret the cancellations and the inconvenience caused to participants and we are addressing all issues there connected.

“There is a balance in place [in regards to direction from GRNSW] that is well meaning but I think we can improve. If everybody agrees to the end objective, being as precise as possible with the processes that are to apply should work to the benefit of all.

“I will say that I am confident in the quality of our relationship with GRNSW and the capacity of our management and staff to get it right, going forward.”

In addition to Maitland and Gosford, part of Richmond’s Wednesday meeting was also canned due to extreme weather, whilst Dubbo lost the last three races on its Thursday card due to power outages.

Whilst agreeing welfare must come first, many trainers who spoke to Australian Racing Greyhound, including Terry Priest, could not fathom why issues with the tracks are arising so frequently in recent weeks.

“I don’t understand why we are having these problems when there are procedures set in place in order to have the tracks prepared to meet certain standards – obviously there is an issue with communication between the stewards and the curators who are preparing the tracks,” Priest said.

“To throw the blame is very hard, I don’t think you can just blame one party, but this is a big problem because it is happening on a regular occurrence.”

Prominent Londonderry trainer Alan Proctor, who brought eight greyhounds to Gosford on Thursday night, said he believes the problems are stemming from a new track surface which has been introduced across the state in order to reduce injury rates.

“It’s not the curators – they are getting blamed for it – but it’s what they working with,” Proctor said.

“The problem is with the actual surfaces they are using – but GRNSW won’t take it on board because they don’t think there is an issue.

“I have been in the game for 47 years. I try and [promote] the sport – when the ban was announced I had TV cameras out here, The Telegraph and the local paper – just to help the sport.

“Not only is it me as a trainer, but I have owners who rely on their prize money.

“The costs are so dear that you have got to have prize money coming in – I got $100 unplaced yesterday but that wouldn’t even cover the trip up when you consider the petrol and cost of the generator to air-condition the trailer.

“This is killing us – the owners and trainers – we can’t even trial our dogs, let alone race them.”

Priest worries that the authority body and clubs are not being held accountable when meetings are being abandoned, which is having a negative impact on trainers.

“We have got no voice as trainers with the way the industry is being run,” he said.

“It is one-way governance at the moment… they are not allowing for any input from the trainer and there is no leeway.

“We have been inundated with changes and there is no communication or accountability from the [GRNSW] side of the fence – whereas we are held accountable for every single thing we do.

“It is taking the sport away from the participants.”

With GRNSW currently operating without a CEO at the helm since the retirement of Paul Newson, Priest says he fears for the future direction of the sport.

“There are big problems as a result of not having a CEO – we are rudderless. We have got no one who has been in the industry for a long time up there representing us – all the knowledge and experience is just being washed away.

“You have track maintenance managers who have been doing this for years and are very intelligent – who have been preparing safe tracks for years – and now they are being asked to reinvent the wheel.

“It is getting to the point where the administration of the sport is making it impossible to train.

“In business you don’t have to work harder to make things better, you just have to work smarter. The smarter you work, the better things will be, but at the moment everyone is just trying to work too hard and nothing is getting done.

“We haven’t got anyone in there making the crucial decisions – it is a very strange situation that the game is in – we are self destructing.”

Clarence Town trainer Natasha Benhard, who took two dogs to Gosford on Thursday in separate cars to ensure they were kept cool in the air-conditioning, said the current climate of greyhound racing could force hobby trainers out of the industry.

“A lot of people are now asking if the [regulators] are there to help us or are they undermining us all the time and trying to force people to the brink and to the point where they say ‘to hell with this’ and get out of the industry?” Benhard said.

Benhard also quizzed why the decision to abandon the meeting was not made sooner in order to save participants making the long trek to the track.

“I don’t know why the decision wasn’t made more promptly to save people having to travel.

“People were hot under the collar [on Thursday] – but they had reason – you have to come up with a better excuse than ‘we’ve called it off’ after they have already arrived at the track.”

All three trainers questioned how the track could have deteriorated so rapidly, given a successful meeting was held on Tuesday night, followed by trials on Wednesday evening.

“How can the track go from being great on Tuesday to good on Wednesday for the trials and then to [bad] on the Thursday without someone being able to notice it?” Benhard said.

“I am not going to say what they should be doing because I really don’t know, but if there is someone that’s telling them how to prepare the tracks then the requirements should be made public to participants too.”

Scott said there was no difference in how the track was prepared ahead of Thursday’s meeting in comparison to Tuesday’s.

“The track was prepared to the same standard as the race meeting two nights prior,” Scott said.

“Our staff was confident in the preparation of the track, but the stewards’ inspection and subsequent consultation with the on-course veterinary deemed the track a racing risk.

“Track staff were consulted at that point and supported the decision. I think there is an argument to suggest that the track would have been raced on in previous times.

“I am also confident that with minor tinkering of lead up procedures, the circumstances can and will be avoided in the future. We will also work with GRNSW to ensure that a system is in place that avoids, where at all possible, cancellations at such a late stage.”

Scott did admit issues with the track surface are the responsibility of the clubs themselves, in this instance the GBOTA, and says further training for staff will be implemented where required.

“Track preparation is a club responsibility with GRNSW applying independent oversight,” he said.

“We need to accept that the end aim here is about safe racing and eradication of as many injuries as possible. Setting high expectations is part of the process but training is central to success.

“For my part, I intend working with GRNSW to improve training and support wherever possible. I believe in the end game but the training and support is super critical.

“The greyhound industry faces a future where-by safe racing is a fundamental pillar of our operating model. So I’m not sure that we should be too concerned at the height of the performance bar.

“I do think, however, we need to make sure that all industry stakeholders have ‘buy in’ to where we are heading and why.

“The safe racing objective needs to be defined, the targets fully understood by all stakeholders and best practice standards need to be applied and modified as constructive feedback demands.”

Past Discussion

  1. lone widow BobWhitelaw Bend starts should be outlawed  and two sets of boxes for all distances with a MOBILE Finish line  and throw in a return to Wyong  and a  300m straight  up the Harness Track  at Cessnock leave the the big one turner grass and two turner Loam on the inside ,the one turner has a 80 degree radius .The bad news is some of these tracks that you have mention have no room for expansion !

  2. BobWhitelaw lone widow The two turn tracks work in the UK where the lure is on the outside. What is being suggested in NSW is to change the tracks to suit the artificial lure and my thoughts are we should be changing the artificial lure system to suit the tracks. With the advent of drone technology the economics favour lure technology getting cheaper and track design getting dearer.

    The greyhound racing in the UK with the outside hare is much more exciting than the racing in NSW where we grade or program dogs like dodgem cars to crash together on the first turn and whatever greyhounds sort themselves out from this go on to fight out the finish.

    If the public were interested in  seeing crashes in greyhounds then the current greyhound racing would be a star attraction.

    In America there is an accommodation with the lure to progress the way that the greyhounds gait behind it.

    I think that we need to look at the hare technology before we look at the dearer options. Possibly the hare should have an inbuilt telescopic arm that moves sideways as well as forward.

    The one turn tracks are more suited  to to the inside hare as the greyhounds get a better sight of it looking in a straight line,

    Greyhounds will always jostle from side to side as their natural gait usually favours one side or another.

    The current grading policy is essentially a balloting policy that is fair to participants can be a disaster for the greyhounds.

    Grading under grader’s discretion can be a disaster for participants fairness but can ironically good for the welfare of the greyhound.

    For example could grade a field with the dogs on the known ability of them getting to the first turn at different times. ie to fast beginners, two medium beginners and four slow beginners. This situation would make the negotiations of the turn much more friendly to the dogs. The reserves could be designated as fast-medium-slow beginners and only replace the beginner status of the dog to be replaced.

    The current balloting system was introduced when up to 24,000 dogs vied for the racing starting positions that less than 8,000 do today, so there needs to be some flexibility in the ballot system.

  3. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jsap.12229/epdf?r3_referer=wol&tracking_action=preview_click&show_checkout=1&purchase_referrer=onlinelibrary.wiley.com&purchase_site_license=LICENSE_DENIED

    gives you a hint early,then wants a fee to continue…….

    based on the first few paragraphs though,the usual VILLIAN in race track injuries,is surface and maintenance……and some of these reports go back quite a few years. so things have not changed it appears.

    in VICTORIA,especially when heats and definitely the final,tracks are SPED-UP to draw crowds.so does the club  actually consider WELFARE when attracting patrons? seems maybe not,as crowds love to hear the right words when being tempted to ‘come along’ for fast,speedy racing.

    the USA have deeper track sand surface,,,,,,,,,,,,,has a study been undertaken why?

    Best Practice Track Maintenance and Track Construction

    Discussion in ‘Main Forum‘ started by Michael Eberand, May 9, 2014.

    1. Michael EberandMember

      NSW PARLIAMENTARY INQUIRY INTO GREYHOUND RACING – Recommendation 16 “That Greyhound Racing NSW develop and implement industry standards for best practice for race track design and maintenance and the provision of veterinary services”.

      I have casually observed from my USA track visit and from videos on You Tube of USA races, that the tracks over there do not seem to be as banked on the corners and there seems to be cleaner racing as a result. I further observed the track tractor operations and between races to be very different to those here in NSW (see the pictures in the Sanford thread) where we seem to be inconsistent from track to track.

      Interestingly, one of our local trainers and vets in NSW has pointed to very detailed and scientific research from the UK, (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jsap.12229/full) which indicates a substantial decrease in injury rates by preparing tracks to be slow… its backed by a scientific data testing and statistical analysis. Email [email protected] if you want a copy of that research paper.

      Now aiming for consistent slower tracks would also alleviate the complaint of many punters in trying to understand the consistency in time standards when doing the form, because one would think it easier to prepare a consistent track then try to prepare a super fast track on an on going basis.

      I would be further interested if the sand treatment and quality is a factor as to safety, one of the other threads on here pointed out changes had made tracks faster. Again, need for scientific testing.

      I think there is an urgent role here for Greyhounds Australasia to co-ordinate a national program on development of track maintenance and future design and in advance of that, the states need to work together ahead of it. (economically its far cheaper and better as a national industry to address it on a national scale). A first step could be to make best use of existing SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH, (and not rely on conflict or business opinions), identify gaps in research, expand the research, then determine a national approach to maintenance and design including on going staff training. Of course maintenance will need to be flexible to local conditions.  

    obviously been an issue for some time?

  4. spyman PS There are other videos Greyhounds V  on the o tube site . The circular rotary galloping action makes the greyhound suitable for racing around turns?. so it is the lure in someways that causes the awkward entry to the turns?.

    It is at least worth a look at obviously if you are using track builders as experts on greyhound welfare they will naturally look at the problems from a track building perspective.

    Also congratulations to Michael Eberand and Barking Bad for their Group victory, great effort.

  5. spyman Well Gale  Grnsw engaged David Eager (Engineer )form University of Technology Sydney early 2016 for research into track surfaces and track infrastructure. Bruce Teague , Brian Barrington and myself where ask to contribute to this research. Bruce and I  spent most of the day with David Eager and Brian was a no show and i believe it was productive day with the information we provided.Now with Ban by Baird ,the research then was suspended until lately  where  the research is back on the agenda and now i believe the final results will not be ready until early 2018

  6. BobWhitelaw spyman  2018 BOB? gosh,wont hold me breath.

    was there a highlight with that meeting that indicated issues by DAVID EAGAR?

  7. spyman BobWhitelaw No highlights as he knew nothing about Greyhound Racing,but it was obvious it was a major project for him, and as he stated our input was a great start to his research re track infrastructure ,track surfaces,with the emphasis on what will effect the racing greyhound when racing .How ever i did point out ,don’t just use one track for you research,they are all different ? 

  8. one wonders whether worrying about tracks is worth the effort after hearing what I have.

    seems more stink is coming,and a rotten stink it is.

  9. All may not be lost when it comes to funding new track designs and upgraded maintenance. The government stated in its press release dated 11 Oct 2016 that Morris Iemma will chair the reform panel that will determine the new regime including :(in part )”substantial increased resources for enforcement and prosecution as well as animal welfare.”The reform panels terms of reference state in point 4. to make “recommendations relating to track design with view to eliminating injuries. “

    As with all negotiations there must be give and take. The alliance has a couple of cards it can play here. The lease on W.Park, which the government is desperate for, and the Supreme Court action, which the government has asked to be dropped. With smart play one of these could be used to negotiate substantial funding increases to be written into the legislation. Don’t underestimate how important these two issues are to the government. Without these aces we would have no say at all. This may sound sinister, but at the moment this is not about greyhounds, this is purely about politics. What a horrible system of government we truly have. 

  10. Trevor H Democracy (the art of the possible) might be a horrible system of Government but it beats the system that is running second.

    Metropolitan situation involves Randwick on a saved colonial lease 99 years, absent landlords (Trust 3 members) and Metropolitan funding outside of the all codes arrangements. (Event funding).

    Wentworth Park is under the Reserve Crown Lands Act. Had a hostile trust previously of 7 landlords on complex and other ex officio positions, Inferior usage licence agreement, other complex income goes to trust and trust refuses to pay past debts to the greyhounds.

    The horses get rewarded for  becoming  single club in the Metro area while it has been the intent of Governments sine 1994 for the greyhounds to have a single club at Wentworth Park, the greyhounds are required to pay out the NCA to gain a single club status for the Metropolitan area.

    All three codes got into serious financial trouble un their Metropolitan situations. The Government bought the horses out of trouble and the trots were allowed to obtain a favourable zoning at Harold Park.

    The solution should involve the greyhounds as a partner in a million dollar plus scheme at Wentworth Park. (partner in overseas tourism).

  11. Trevor H Trevor i agree with most of what you are saying, my mail is we will  sacrifice a lot more then what the government is offering.Two big ticket items are restrictions  on Breeding ( a restraint of trade) , and Six dog fields, there that’s just a couple, as for Wenthworth Park is concerned the joint has been costing the industry $ 400.000 a year to be there and rising each year and the GBOTA internal audit  confirmed that and government know that. Regardless of what the legislation will be, if the funding is not there the industry will not survive  Your right ,its all about Politics and we must all remember the Government have all the CASH to fight any challenge we may throw at them we have little in cash reserves  ( remember what happen to Cessnock with Court action ,won round one,lost round two, no round three as the club run out of money to fight on) Trevor  i must say the Government hold all the Aces and they’ll make us follow suit, now that is sinister !

  12. BobWhitelaw Trevor H The breeding quotas are an interesting debate. If corner start races are scrapped in the name of safety breeding will no doubt resort to the mantra of years gone past. Strong sires breeding strong race dogs. Such as Zoom Top winning over 700 then backing up four days later and winning over 457.That is something that excites the masses. It would seem the jolly green giants appetite for unlimited race meetings has seen the proliferation of 400 metre dogs.

    Smaller fields might be a new idea in our area but not overseas. Juveniles in America mainly race in four dog fields, while the tight tracks in Britain raced six dog fields. The TAB is a monster, and could easily accommodate a new form of betting on six dog fields.Look at the win,place and show format American totalisators use.

    Don’t forget there was once tracks that ran ten dog fields.

    We have to evolve,but unfortunately we will have to evolve with the rulebook that is forced upon us.

  13. Trevor H BobWhitelaw Serious injury in racehorses research is put down to a factor of speed. Speed generally comes from breeding fine animals at the expense of bone density. A freak horse with heavy bone density becomes the champion, breeding horses for speed will see more horses get into the top ranks so the stand out champion gets harder and harder to stand above the pack.

    The recommendation of the ten year study on the horses in the UK (published in the Scientist) was  that consideration should be given to breeding “fine sires to “heavy mares” and visa versa. Handicapping rather than breeding would bring the horses together in races. 

    When we talk about the feats of strong greyhounds in the past such as Zoom Top we need to factor in that these greyhounds were performing on very poor prepared tracks. If you go back to the earlier days at Harold Park some greyhounds were having per 100 starts and racing to nearly six years of age in top grade (was one Dashing Tel).

    The scientists told the greyhounds at the World conference of Greyhounds in Sydney decades ago that the greyhounds were on a collision course breeding fine animals for speed at the expense of soundness. 

    The fault in our racing system might be that we are breeding a lot of fragile dogs to facilitate an ever increasing number of group races and also we need these dogs to perform more often making the need for expensive track preparations and also causing high costs in greyhound maintenance.

    In the short term we are reducing the number of fragile dogs to race by reducing the number of greyhounds that are to be bred. This will probably cause an increase in the number of unsound dogs to race as most of the dogs bred will be from fine fragile stock. Also these greyhounds will be required to race more often.

    Racing will then be downsized to only race greyhounds needed for contract racing. To comply with the TAB contract maybe we could get away with running eight races per meeting with five dogs per race. This would allow for all the tote exotics to continue.

    The above would follow the original restrictive greyhound legislation  on the UK only we could improve the situation by only allowing five starters. (We are probably required under contract to provide first four exotics but if not we could reduce the field sizes further).

    The reversal of the greyhound ban in earlier times was described as the only grass root success in the great depression it led to a rapid expansion in greyhound racing and legal wagering. The dogs . won the battle and the war.

    The greyhounds have won a battle but the spoils of war are different this time around. The spoils of war will be shared by enterprises providing services to canines. The eight billion dollars spent annually in companion care will double or triple due to welfare advancements in the canines and this is where the greyhound tracks have an advantage. While the show dog society have more than five times the number of stud book registrations than the greyhounds and have about ten times more the number of clubs in NSW and flood the adoption market with puppies (the majority of adopted dogs are rejected show dog puppies) they do not have the physical common structures (greyhound complex) as the greyhounds have.

    The viability of greyhound activity involves a mature TAB on the downward slide but the retail of the greyhounds also should have a front  on the immature and rapid growing animal welfare service side.

  14. BobWhitelaw lone widow 

    Bob, given that you agree we need bigger tracks for todays bigger dogs, you have stated that some of the tracks i have mentioned have no room for expansion.

    If that means we carry on as normal and accept the broken hocks and other injuries, Mike Baird will close it all down. 

    Why couldn’t each of these tracks (and others) be rebuilt one at a time over a period of say 5 years on larger blocks of land? 

  15. lone widow BobWhitelaw As i see it the clubs over all these years have tried to up grade the tracks on the cheap with no knowledge of the best infrastructure for the racing greyhound they  just build a track and hope for the best. a fine example is our latest addition The Gardens Ex Soccer ground and the NCA leading us to believe it is a replica of Sandown  that spin was the greatest load of sh*t i’ve ever heard of ,but the participant fell for it  again ,why because 95% of them have never been  or seen Sandown, its reprehensible what they did and look where we are  today ,they got their cut and bolted no reprisals just  allowed to walk away,But what really hurts some of  these failures are trying hang on after lending a hand  to our near destruction. As for rebuilds some track won’t meet the requirements  plus we need a massive injection of funds to do so, I have doubt some will close  which can only be blamed on years of neglect by these race club failures.

  16. BobWhitelaw lone widow 

    Similarly the new Cannington was modeled on Sandown.

    What is it about Sandown that has them all by the short and curlies? Ask Bruce Teague how many broken hocks at Sandown compared to other tracks? 

    Sandown must have an impressive restaurant and toilets…. THATS IT!!

  17. John Tracey lone widow spyman BobWhitelaw 

    John, i found it interesting that you mentioned complete circle tracks could be safest because the greyhounds can not reach top speed.

    The Wentworth Park track record 29.27secs was run at an average rate of 17.76 mtrs per second, yet the Casino track a complete circle with a turn radius of 73 mtrs, the 484 mtr track record run by ‘Weekend Binge’ in 27.14 secs averaged 17.83 mtrs per second.

    It would be interesting to know the injury rates for Casino?

  18. lone widow John Tracey spyman BobWhitelaw My perception of what is going on has changed a bit following research on the natural coursing of greyhounds, the conclusions drawn from the Gillette research on the measurement of greyhound strides etc and the accurate mapping of greyhound tracks to scale by the mapping company “Nearmap”. The greyhounds racing in groups around turns is critical as you point out but the there are many complexities involved as well.

    It is now possible to put an accurate drawing of a track against the drawings of all tracks to scale and count a greyhounds number of strides and measure the time it takes for each stride. This would assume that timing of the race broadcast  was in real time but this could be checked by timing the full race manually as well, Under the system you could speed map every dog in every race and interpose the dogs on every track.

    My perception of racing watching the two dimensional image at home is that the greyhound continues to increase speed up to a turn and then in the home straight increase speed to beat the other greyhounds to the winning post. What is actually happing is the greyhound is reaching top speed at six strides of about 5 meters per stride and dramatically reducing it speed in the home straight. 

    The greyhound is naturally built to chase by sight and this frame set up allows the greyhound to dart at angles on all types of ground and to chase hares that lurch sideways so their sent is lost by animals hunting them down by following their scent trail.

    If greyhounds are getting injury through simple negotiating turns then this is a breeding problem as well. If the greyhounds are all meeting at the turns together and chasing a lure that is pulling the greyhounds into an inside rail position then there is a grading problem and a lure location problem as well as the problem that you have expressed that could be avoided party by severe banking of tracks.

    A complete circle would appear to me to have much the same effect as a steep banking that is that the dogs would tend to keep their positions negotiating turns.

    The reporting and observation methods carry the greatest margins of error as you need to factor in many variables. The scientific measures can reduce experimental error but the refinements need to continue.

    My feeling is that you can make massive improvements in OHS of racing animals before you worry too much about the actual tracks structures themselves.

  19. John Tracey lone widow spyman BobWhitelaw 

    John, what seems to have been lost in this debate is the different training methods or OHS as you have pointed out.  Some dogs are relatively soft and supple, some others are in reasonable race condition and some are in hard racing condition, and even others are like a coil spring.

    I remember Bruce Teague arguing that today’s stayers were incapable of backing up week to week in a lot of instances.

     I would put Zoom Top in the coil spring category.  As has been documented if Zoom Top didn’t win on the saturday night Hec Watt would trial her on the monday to see what went wrong.  Zoom Top had the worst track leg i have ever seen but she never propped in any race that i ever saw her in, the leg was never strapped.

    If greyhounds strike their leg today they prop and immediately drop back through the field and run at the rear.  Race condition accounts for a lot of the injuries, some dogs can take it and some can’t or should i say “there’s trainers and there’s trainers”.

    Too many variables.

  20. John Tracey lone widow spyman BobWhitelaw Come on John,you can not have one without the other  ,today’s track structures  haven’t  changed since Chief Havoc days lol

  21. BobWhitelaw John Tracey lone widow spyman 

    Apart from the introduction of sand Bob.

    It seems they are going to persist with the smaller two turn tracks, so if the turf doesn’t work, the sand don’t work, surely another look at synthetics is not off the cards. They could even increase banking angles without worrying about the weather, lol

  22. John Tracey Trevor H Is a tennant of crown land  (GBOTA-W.Park) allowed to enter into a development agreement on such land. The Panthers Group proposal for development of W.Park saw the dogs in a favourable in principle arrangement for a fully funded facility in Western Sydney. Could this still be an option towards a centre of excellence. The precinct that was mooted involved other recreational facilities, accommodation,food and dining .There was also talk of involving the trots. 

    This would see the dogs as one part of an entertainment precinct with a large audience, run by a professional business organization. 

    I was astounded that when Newcastle Wests Leagues showed interest in the Gardens that a deal was not struck. Licenced club juggernauts like these could certainly help our sports profile and income stream. 

  23. Trevor H John Tracey Trevor there needs to be an open inquiry into the whole metropolitan adventure from start to finish.

    The short answer is that the Greyhounds are under a licence agreement at Wentworth Park and only have usage rights and not tenant rights to develop Land under various acts. The courts can decide whether an contractual arrangement is in reality a lease or a licence under the various legislative acts and often do. For example under the Act that determines the payment of council rates racing was regarded as the lessee (Tenant) for the purposes of charging rates.

    The situation at Wentworth Park us clear cut in so far as the Greyhounds have usage rights and limited development rights. The Wentworth Park Trust is responsible for the complex in the role of a present Landlord.

    It is fair to say that the O Farrell Government was ambushed by the Panther Group proposal that as I understood it asked for Wentworth Park to be rezoned to high rise housing and part of the monies to be used for some shifting of sporting amenity at Penrith together with the greyhounds to another shared site.

    The arrangement in principle with the greyhounds, land department and the Government (including the Wentworth Park Trust) was to defray the .5 million owing the the greyhound fund by the Wentworth Park Trust from previous developments and to allow a return of a lease to Wentworth a long term lease allowing the Greyhounds to share in the Inner metropolitan special events.

    The arrangement of enhancement of the Wentworth Park agreement was delayed by the GRNSW board and when the ambush took place the Government assumed the only reason that the greyhounds were filing for better conditions was to increase their chances of obtainjng compensation.

    The NCA previously tried to cash in and lobbied for an offer not to renew a licence agreement renewal at Wentworth Park and use any money they received from the dumping of Wentworth Park to fund the Gardens.

    Under the Tab Act and the licence agreement the NCA could not go alone in leaving Wentworth Park as the agreement allowed for the GBOTA to take up the full occupation if the NCA declined. The alleged offer as stated would not have covered the costs of Gardens anyway as the moneys owed to the GIDF from the dispersal of the Arena Account and the return of the 6.5 million to the industry generally would have taken up the lions share of the “offer”

    The previous attempts in mid 1990’s to shjift the greyhounds to the Metropolitan rim failed because the minister could not match his proposals with any cash. The cupboard was bare.

    The gymnastics if the “Metropolitan solutions” saw the Chairman of the Wentworth Park resign over the matter.

    It is fairly obvious that the Government at some level see the Wentworth Park development as suggested by the Panthers or whatever ( I am only going on Newspaper reports) but why spend that money on greyhounds.

    The original problems with the Metro solution were that the Complex was occupied before final completion and this fact still haunts the complex.

    Here is a cut and paste of the difference between a licence and a licence as it exists in the Landlord and Tennant Act/

    A tenancy has the legal effect of passing an interest in land from the landlord to the tenant. It means that the tenant is given the right of occupation. … In contrast, a licence creates no interest in land. The licensor only allows the licensee to use the land, not to exclusively occupy it.

    Source CLG. (see Google definitions).

  24. Well ,Thank God  for the Cessnock Greyhound Club . Up to last Thursday the 20th the Newcastle Gardens Track was without  a cable  to  conduct their Friday and Saturday meetings as a new one was weeks away, which would have been disruptive  to racing in the Hunter region  over January. Yes the Cessnock  club  loaned the Newcastle Track their spare cable so their meetings could go a head, that’s what this industry must do, support each other ,no matter what !.