Greyhound industry facing more hurdles

Meeting deleted: Hastings River Greyhound Racing Club president Rex Nairn.
Meeting deleted: Hastings River Greyhound Racing Club president Rex Nairn.

Saturday’s scheduled greyhound meeting at Wauchope has been cancelled. Hastings River Greyhound Racing Club president Rex Nairn is non-plussed about any future meetings.

The Wauchope track – considered within the industry to be the best in NSW – was inspected last week with GRNSW’s track maintenance manager requesting two improvements. That request saw the club construct an outside fence on the northern side of the track and place supergrass in front of the starting boxes.

“Now we are being asked to contact the vet and the steward … and that was before we were informed that Saturday’s meeting was deleted,” Mr Nairn said.

“All this seems really funny because from June 11 back through our 45 year history at this track we have never had a problem.”

The cancellation of Saturday’s event will put further pressure on the local industry already facing a four-week blackout since the last local racing meeting. Mr Nairn said Kempsey’s meeting was the next in line while Grafton was likely to hold a non-TAB meeting shortly. Wauchope’s next scheduled meeting is August 20.

Meanwhile Premier Mike Baird’s decision to ban greyhound racing from 2017 has met its first serious test.

The Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers’ Association executive director Brenton Scott says the industry wants proper engagement with the premier and government to set expectations and a time frame for the industry to present its plan for the future of racing.

The rebuttal has been presented to the Premier and NSW Government by a united group of industry bodies called the NSW Greyhound Racing Industry Alliance which includes the NSW GBOTA, all independent clubs and industry participants.

According to the rebuttal, the legality of basing a decision on the concept of ‘social licence’ – which is not defined and cannot be measured – is strongly challenged. 

“Another key issue of the rebuttal relates to the multiple instances where members of the industry and the public have been denied procedural fairness,” said Mr Scott.