Retiring Greyhound Racing NSW Chairman Professor Percy Allan AM has used his farewell statement to reflect on the various achievements of his Board during the past nine years.
The industry elected GRNSW Board that Professor Allan currently presides over will hand over the baton to a new independent Board on February 10.
Professor Allan said when he joined GRNSW in 2003 the Board held a dozen workshops around NSW to learn what the main grievances were in greyhound racing.
“The top five were an unfair grading policy, inadequate prizemoney, dilapidated racing venues, a poor community image and no TAB tracks west of the Great Dividing Range,” Professor Allan said.
“Things are by no means perfect now, but thanks to the efforts of everyone committed to this sport I think we can now say ‘mission accomplished’.
“Our grading policy is now widely accepted and attracts minimal criticism. Prizemoney will never satisfy everyone, but after big rises it’s now on par with other states.
“Our racing venues are now of a quality we can be proud to bring family and friends to. Our community image is sound because we have the best operating standards of any racing code in Australia and thedogs.com.au is one of the best racing websites.
“We also have our own active Greyhound As Pets adoption program which we didn’t have 10 years ago.
Importantly the removal of muzzles from certified pet greyhounds (or Greenhounds as we call them) has become a reality.
“Finally we now have three inland TAB tracks; at Bathurst, Dubbo and Wagga. Furthermore the number of TAB race meetings is now 839 a year compared with the 596 we were contracted to provide TabCorp in 2002.”
“Our contribution to TAB turnover in NSW has risen from 13% in 1999 to 20% now, yet we still get only 13% of the total TAB distribution to NSW racing codes,” Professor Allan said.
“Agreement so that each racing code gets rewarded in proportion to its contribution to wagering is what the independent government enquiry chaired by Alan Cameron recommended.
“Implementing the Cameron Report is one of the two big issues outstanding for this sport. The other one is extending our Wentworth Park lease well beyond 2027. The good news is that the NSW Minister for Racing George Souris has told us he is keen to achieve that as soon as possible.”
Professor Allan said the new independent GRNSW Board was a balance of people with greyhoun racing, administration, legal and financial experience. He predicted the Board would be a great success.
“To everyone in this exciting sport – not least of all my fellow GRNSW Board Members and the excellent management team led by Brent Hogan that has served us – all the best for the future as I retire as Chairman of GRNSW. Thank you for your efforts and support since 2002. You have made greyhound racing great again,” Professor Allan concluded.