Funding agreement must change for greyhound racing: Jason Lyne

REPEAL DEAL: Legislation introduced this week to the NSW Parliament will repeal the ban on greyhound racing in NSW that was announced last year.
REPEAL DEAL: Legislation introduced this week to the NSW Parliament will repeal the ban on greyhound racing in NSW that was announced last year.

GREYHOUND racing’s short-term future in NSW has been secured, but its long-term future will remain uncertain as long as an uneven funding agreement remains in place, according to greyhound identity Jason Lyne.

Orange resident Mr Lyne, who is the track manager at the Bathurst Greyhound Track, was responding to the NSW Government’s announcement on Tuesday of a package of reforms for the industry.

Minister for Racing and Member for Bathurst Paul Toole announced the government would adopt all but one of the 122 recommendations of the Greyhound Industry Reform Panel, including having CCTV cameras at all public tracks.

Then NSW Premier Mike Baird sensationally announced last year that greyhound racing in NSW would be banned from July 1 this year before backing down on that commitment after sustained public pressure.

Legislation to repeal the ban was introduced to the NSW Parliament on Tuesday.

While he welcomed commitments from the NSW government – including $41 million over five years to implement the recommendations, of which $11m will go towards an independent Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission – he wanted to draw attention to one of the recommendations not acted upon.

That was for the NSW government to consider intervening to amend the Inter-Code Deed agreed to in 1998 for a 99-year period, in which greyhound racing receives 13 per cent of TAB distributions to the three racing codes.

Harness racing receives 17pc and thoroughbred racing 70pc.

According to the panel’s report, greyhound racing contributes about 21pc to TAB wagering turnover.

Mr Lyne said the extra money greyhound racing should be receiving under the Inter-Code Deed was needed to go back to participants via extra prizemoney.

“The level of funding is nowhere near where it needs to be,” he said. “And we need it for our long-term viability.”

Mr Lyne said he was supportive of the Government’s suite of reforms, including tougher penalties for animal welfare abuses and improving the safety of greyhound tracks.