Under the reforms, which will be implemented from July 1, GRSA will direct funding into a racing calendar that provides the strongest possible returns to the industry and streamline its support of racing assets.
An Industry Taskforce and Industry Stimulus Package will also be launched to bring greyhound racing in South Australia into a new era.
The comprehensive package will include:
- A $621,000 increase in stakemoney to $5.4 million per annum with $364,000 allocated to Friday meetings at Gawler and over $240,000 into Thursday night meetings at Angle Park.
- A 50 per cent increase in funding for the SA Bred Program to $405,000 with funds predominately being directed at breeders.
- The introduction of SA Bred Group Race super bonuses of up to $12,500 for breeders who are successful in Group races across the country.
- More than $500,000 invested in training, trialling and racing-related capital works.
- A supplementary travel fee for existing trainers in regional areas with limited local racing opportunities.
In conjunction with these reforms, the new racing calendar features only TAB racing fixtures from which the industry derives wagering revenue.
The 2011/12 racing calendar features 336 TAB meetings – scheduled for Angle Park, Gawler, Strathalbyn and Mount Gambier. The new schedule represents a substantially increased racing opportunity for participants at those tracks, and is up by 35% on 2009 meeting figures.
The changes bring South Australia in line with greyhound racing markets like Western Australia and Tasmania where TAB meetings only are held across a more limited number of tracks.
GRSA Chief Executive Officer, Matt Corby said the reforms create a more efficient and competitive model and pave the way for future industry growth.
“Greyhound racing continues to perform strongly in all states, but it’s essential that South Australia maintains a competitive position within the national framework. This cannot be achieved without reform,” Mr Corby said.
“We’ve scheduled income generating races at four key tracks because that’s where demand (nominations) from industry participants is highest and the most sustainable,”
“The four track strategy will allow GRSA to be targeted in its capital expenditure program to ensure these facilities are brought in line with and maintained to nationally benchmarked standards.
“The reforms mean South Australian greyhound racing Clubs will now be expected to be accountable for the viability of racing at their local tracks to ensure it is sustainable and meets industry standards.”
Racing at Port Pirie, which has been suspended for five months, will not be reinstated and the Port Pirie Greyhound Racing Club along with the Port Augusta & District Greyhound Racing Club and the Riverland Greyhound Racing Club will be given until September 30 to demonstrate the long term viability of their local racing.
The Clubs will need to be able to generate enough income to fund minimum stakemoney, capital and maintenance requirements for the next three years. They will also need to demonstrate sufficient and sustainable active participation by their local industry.
The requirements were outlined to the local Clubs in a series of meetings with the GRSA Board and represent a pragmatic response to the long-term shift away from regional participation and attendance.
An Industry Taskforce, which will comprise some of the most respected and experienced names in the SA industry, will act as a support mechanism to local Clubs and participants during implementation of the reforms.
The Taskforce will also lend their experience to addressing some of the key challenges facing the industry. They include the recent decline of SA breeding, broadening industry appeal and the industry’s reliance on volunteers.
Further details regarding the Taskforce will be announced in the next few weeks.