Joint Media Release – Australian participant groups collectively seek improved consultation with
Greyhounds Australasia for industry benefit
7 June 2021
Greyhound participant bodies across Australia are calling on Greyhounds Australasia to extend the current consultation period for the National Rules review and alter their consultation strategy.
The call comes as a two week window closes for the final stage of industry consultation to the rule review and rewrite process. Member bodies of Greyhound Participants Australia (GPA) and Greyhound Clubs New South Wales said that in order for the industry to continue to flourish there is a need to for regulators to better understand those who the rules govern.
“Greyhound racing is a full-time lifestyle for participants,” Greyhound Clubs NSW Chairman Mr Shayne Stiff said.
“The approach taken by Greyhounds Australasia with this review, to undertake over a narrow time period and only in written format shows the complete lack of understanding of those who the Rules are made for,” Mr Stiff added.
NSW Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association General Manager, Mr Steve Noyce echoed the concerns raised by Mr Stiff and added that a rethink to some approaches is important.
“All members of GPA and GCNSW no doubt recognise the challenges COVID-19 has placed on our industry in many ways, however, we must not sacrifice the ability to get these rules right and the ensure a prosperous future for the sake of making a timeline,” Mr Noyce said. “At the moment the winning post appears to be date pressures over the much more important priority of achieving the best outcomes for all parties.”
“Responsible regulators can’t run what appears as a consultation in name only, waving away input from the very people who are supposed to follow the rules in question” says GOTBA VIC President Lynton Hogan. “Morally at least, why follow rules in which you are given no real say? We call on GA to be brave, recognise a misfire and re-engage at length.”
Background – a failure of consultation
In February 2021, your greyhound racing participant representative organisations around Australia – GBOTA NSW, GC NSW, GOTBA Vic, GBOTA SA, GBOTA Qld, GBOTA WA, GBOTA Tas and Greyhound Participants Australia - were approached to provide feedback to Greyhounds Australasia (GA) on proposed significant changes to the Greyhounds Australasia Rules.
This ‘consultation’ was part of GA’s review of those rules, which apply nationally unless modified in each State. The review had commenced behind closed doors, unsatisfactorily without participant input, some 18 months earlier.
In April 2021, following extensive review and consultation with our respective memberships, all greyhound racing participant representative organisations provided detailed, considered, balanced and good faith submissions to GA on the proposed rule changes that their members would be required to follow.
You can obtain a copy of your participant organisations’ submissions from the participant representative organisation in your State.
Many expressed concerns were common across the submissions and related to extremely detrimental proposed rule changes. All submissions expressed detailed reasons for comments made.
In May 2021, a further, ‘public consultation’ draft of proposed National Rules was released. It contains almost no amendments referable to any Australian participant body submission. Extremely poor rules proposals, including those adversely affecting greyhound welfare, remain unamended. Participant representative organisations have not been provided with feedback on the merit of their submissions or their outcome.
We as greyhound racing participant groups cannot support Greyhounds Australasia’s (GA) current draft re-write of the Greyhounds Australasia Rules, which would apply nationally.
Today, your participant representative organisations have written to GA to call on it to undertake genuine, transparent and open consultation with participants on the proposed rule changes.
We have each asked GA to extend the current consultation process and let everyone have a genuine say on the new rules that are going to affect them.
Greyhound Participants Australia
Greyhound Clubs NSW
NSW Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association
Greyhound Owners Trainers and Breeders Association of Victoria Inc
Qld Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association
WA Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association
SA Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association
Tas Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association