1. ‘Towards 2020’ Strategic Review

     

    Directors have determined to enter into a strategic planning program, titled 'Towards 2020'. Several initiatives have commenced that are intended to best position GBOTA for this program as the year progresses.

     

    Immediate key advice associated with the Strategic Review and associated activities is as follows:

     

    1. Directors have accepted management projections of a $350,000 loss for the current financial year. The major contributions to this have been underperformance of trading at several tracks, in particular Wentworth Park, and reduced sponsorship income.

       

      With regard Wentworth Park, it is clear that the GRNSW decision to not provide Wentworth Park with two consistent race nights at which to conduct metropolitan racing has impacted on-course trading and in addition losses were incurred from Monday night TAB C racing.  Calendar changes are anticipated for the 2015/16 year.

       

      Sponsorship revenue for the current year has been impacted by a timing difference between changeover with the major wagering partner sponsorship and the impact of the current environment.

       

    2. Management has commenced the preparation of the 2015/16 budget. Further information regarding 2015/16 trading expectations should be available by the Bi Annual General Meeting in May.

       

    3. Directors are in the process of engaging an external group (or groups) to conduct an independent assessment of NSW GBOTA's governance and internal controls. It is anticipated this will include a review of the NSW GBOTA's board, management, administration and track structures and systems and comparison to best practice.

       

    4. The strategic planning process includes a review of key assets. An external valuation of the Lidcombe asset is underway and indications are of a substantial increase in its value.

       

    5. Further updates will be provided on the ‘Towards 2020’ Strategic Planning program and other initiatives as the year progresses. Members are encouraged to contribute to the strategic planning process and should progress ideas and initiatives though your branches.

       

  2. Membership Advocacy

     

    Directors have devoted considerable attention to membership advocacy initiatives during the past two months in the wake of animal cruelty revelations telecast on the Four Corners programme. A summary of these undertakings is as follows:

     

  • Media: The NSW GBOTA played a significant media liaison supporting role in the days following the revelations.

     

  • Communication with incoming GRNSW CEO, Paul Newson: A delegation of NSW GBOTA Directors met with Paul Newson on March 4, 2015 and a summary of the meeting was posted on the NSW GBOTA web-site. A point of emphasis made at the meeting was for the need for information flow to industry stakeholders as various animal welfare issues were dealt with. Subsequent to the meeting, Mr Newson confirmed a series of consultation meetings with the participated various locations and also made a presentation to NSW GBOTA members at a Members forum on Sunday, March 29, 2015.

     

  • Representations regarding greyhounds suspended by GRNSW: Directors have consistently advocated for a fair set of conditions to apply with regard to the lifting of suspensions for the 25 named greyhounds and 79 unnamed greyhounds stood down by GRNSW. The issue was raised at the March 4, 2015 meeting and written representations on March 11, 2015 and March 19, 2015 followed. On March 24, 2015, GRNSW wrote to the NSW GBOTA and advised of draft procedures that were proposed to apply to both named and unnamed greyhounds. Comment on the draft was invited up until close of business on March 31, 2015. A further submission was made by the NSW GBOTA and final confirmation of suspension lifting procedures was expected at the time of writing this update.

     

  • Submissions regarding the Animal Welfare and Integrity levy: GRNSW advised on March 12, 2015 of its proposal to introduce an Animal Welfare and Integrity levy. Major industry stakeholders were invited to make submissions regarding the proposal. Directors, whilst supportive of the most progressive animal welfare strategies being considered and developed,  are opposed to the levy and presented a submission to GRNSW on March 31, 2015.

     

    http://www.gbota.com.au/Uploads/GRNSW%20CEO%20March%2027%202015%20Welfare%20Levy.pdf

     

  • Arm trial procedures: Greyhounds Australasia has recently drafted rules that will prevent the use of any form of lure that is not synthetic or artificial. This means that the use of animal carcasses or animal products will be prohibited from use. Directors of the NSW GBOTA believe that it is imperative that rabbit carcasses are able to be used, at least for an interim period. In the medium term, it would seem likely that simulated lures could be developed and greyhounds educated from whelping box to racetrack. The NSW GBOTA supports a considered development of simulated lure systems – with nation-wide consistency – but, in the meantime, continues to hold the view that the use of carcasses to strictly controlled procedures is essential for trialling at both trial and racetracks. A submission outlining the NSW GBOTA position was submitted to GRNSW on April 2, 2015.

     

  • Best Practice ‘Chasing System’

     

    In addition to strongly held views regarding the use of carcasses for arm trials and the development of a simulated lure, Directors have proposed with GRNSW a best practice chasing system which needs to be developed to nationally accepted standards.

     

    This system should have consideration for all issues associated with maximising the stimulation to chase and presenting racing in the safest possible manner.

     

    Key considerations in the development of the best practice chasing system will be the possible introduction of finish on lure racing and the type of lure used for this.

     

  • Finish on Lure Test

     

    The NSW GBOTA is in the process of testing the finish on lure at the Gosford track.

     

    Evaluation of finish on lures previously or currently used in Queensland and SA has taken place and construction and testing will take place next week. Whilst the NSW GBOTA is proposing that the finish on lure test be based on the SA/Qld proven models, consideration is being given to other designs aimed at reducing racing interference. These designs are being progressed with a local engineer.

     

    Representations regarding the Finish on Lure system and will continue to be made to GRNSW.

     

  1. Ladbrokes sponsorship

     

    Ladbrokes have increased their sponsorship with the GBOTA at a critical time for the industry. At all GBOTA TAB meetings, the Ladbrokes logo is worn by the greyhound wearing the red rug.

     

    Ladbrokes then makes a prizemoney contribution of $200 for every winner wearing the logo. The money is pooled and added to special features at all GBOTA tracks at regular intervals.

     

    The prizemoney contributions and race details can be found on the NSW GBOTA site.

     

  2. National Championships

     

    The NSW GBOTA will host the AGRA National Championships at Wentworth Park in August.

     

    The National Sprint and Distance Championships will be staged on Saturday, August 22, 2015. Several major conferences will complement the racing including the Australian Greyhound Racing Association, Greyhounds Australasia and the Australian Federation of Greyhound Breeders Owners and Trainers Associations.

     

    Other management meetings regarding greyhound adoption, track preparation, marketing and animal welfare issues along with a participant focussed Training Seminar will complement the anticipated learning and educational outcomes. 

     

  3. Race dates

     

    The NSW GBOTA has presented GRNSW with a submission regarding TAB race dates for 2015/16. At the time of writing, GRNSW had not confirmed its race dates for 2015/16 but it seems certain that metropolitan racing at Wentworth Park will return to a twice a week format.

     

    Saturday night will remain the major meeting and this will be complemented by a second permanent meeting other than Fridays. Fridays are expected to promote the “Thank dog it’s Friday concept” at various TAB tracks.

     

    The NSW GBOTA’s submission again promoted the prospect of TAB racing at Gunnedah. The north west of the State remains under-funded on prizemoney per starter basis and deserves TAB racing.

     

    The NSW GBOTA has consistently self funded improvements at Gunnedah and the track has staged a number of successful TAB meetings in recent years.

     

  4. Special Commission of Inquiry

     

    Members would be aware that the State Government has announced a Special Commission of Inquiry into the greyhound racing industry.

     

    The Special Commission will have powers similar to a Royal Commission and will be headed by former High Court Justice, Michael McHugh QC AC. The Special Commission will assess failings over regulatory, integrity and governance functions and make clear recommendations as to the future shape and form of greyhound racing. The final report is to be handed down by September 30, 2015.

     

    The terms of reference are very wide and GRNSW Chief Executive Officer, Paul Newson, has stated publically that he expects the industry will be strategically reviewed in the process. The public consultation process is expected to be outlined in the immediate future and the NSW GBOTA will keep members as informed as possible via the News section of the web-site.

     

  5. Wentworth Park lease consideration

 

The Wentworth Park Sporting Complex Trust has presented the State Government with a proposed lease for greyhound racing at Wentworth Park. The lease, if approved, would be granted to GRNSW with a sub lease to the NSW GBOTA.

 

The Government is considering the lease but is unlikely to make any decisions prior to the Special Commission of Inquiry finalising its position.

 

 

Further inquiries can be made with:

 

Brenton Scott, Executive Officer, NSW GBOTA

Ph: 02 8587 1206 or email: brenton@gbota.com.au