GRNSW CEO UPDATE - 02-04-2020

GRNSW CEO UPDATE - 02-04-2020


With the constantly developing issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Greyhound Racing NSW believes it is crucial to keep all participants up to date on all news involving the industry.

As such, we are encouraging all participants with questions pertaining to the COVID-19 situation, to email us here at GRNSW.

Each day I will do my best to answer questions from participants and publish them across our website and social media platforms.

If you have any questions, please email them to the following address:

Any important developments will also be published in media releases across our GRNSW network as required.

Here’s what our teams at GRNSW are being asked right now, with the responding answers (and please keep in mind that this is both an unprecedented and fast-moving situation).

1. Q: I hope you can reconsider our area as it has been split into two. I am a Blue Mountains resident with a family who has been running a greyhound facility where I currently employ staff and have a clientele that I have built over several years, including syndicates (up to 9 members). While I understand you have to draw the line somewhere within the regions, I feel it is unfair to draw a line through a town or a postcode. I come under the Lithgow postcode, some of my neighbouring participants in the same postcode are able to choose their regions, where I have been given no option. Bathurst and Dubbo are the tracks you have selected for me which consists of Bathurst 65km away with one meeting a week, while Dubbo is 250km away, While Richmond, Bulli and Goulburn are less than 200km away. Richmond being 97kms. Dubbo is a 6 hour round trip an outing that takes 12 hours minimum. I feel this is unsafe exposure and unnecessary travel and with the risk of an accident due to fatigue, now that I am forced to travel without a passenger. It unfair to business, my employees and my family that will not survive this crisis with only two race meetings a week and all other participants in my area. My other concern is my dogs will not be able to back up for the following week due to the long race days that you have programmed.

A: If you look at our website you will see we have updated our regional map with more specific borders. As a Katoomba resident you fall into the Metropolitan/Southern zone, as you are east of Lithgow. West of Lithgow is the Western Districts zone of Bathurst and Dubbo. As for travelling without a passenger, you are still able to take a passenger or driver, but only the licensed trainer is permitted into the racetrack. I hope this information helps you.

2. Q: What are you going to do about the up to 100 dogs last week and this week that didn’t get a run both weeks? One track in Hunter to cater for 100s of dogs, you don’t have to be a genius to know it’s not going to work.

A: What we are going to do - as you put it - is that we have announced today that we will be opening the Maitland track to race in the Hunter region along with The Gardens. Maitland now have meetings programmed for next Monday and the following two Mondays. Again this is a rapidly moving work in progress and we thank everyone for their patience. Maitland will operate under the same strict biosecurity conditions as our other zoned venues.

3. Q: Can you clarify that New England zone dogs are allowed to race in the Hunter Zone.

A: New England dogs are not allowed to race in the Hunter Zone. As previously mentioned we have announced more specific borders around the zones, and the map is on website. Hopefully that clears this matter up.

4. Q: With stage 3 lockdown coming is there anything we need to do to allow us to go out racing?

A: The Government has so far permitted greyhound racing to continue. At this stage there should be no reason why activities associated with greyhound racing can’t continue as long as all biosecurity and health protocols are being followed. Participants should present their GWIC identification to police officers if required and advise them that they are attending a race meeting being run by GWIC in line with Government orders. If a NSW police officer wishes to confirm that the participant has nominated, they can contact GRNSW on 83247600 or GWIC on 13 49 42.

5. Q: With all the new protocols what time should I get to the track to kennel my greyhounds?

A. In the current environment everything is taking a little longer as we need to take extra care and caution. Kennels are being opened earlier and trainers are encouraged to get to the track earlier than usual for kenneling, especially if they are in early races or have to kennel multiple greyhounds. It’s important that we continue to close kennels on time without compromising social distancing and other health protocols.

6. Q: I only race a couple of greyhounds so under the new protocols I’m not allowed to bring a catcher to the track, who is going to catch my dogs?

A: So far other trainers attending race meetings have shown they are more than willing to catch greyhounds during races they are not participating in. Again, this is something that it is best to organise early so that we do not have people gathering in groups trying to arrange catchers. Where possible, call other trainers prior to the race meeting to check if they are available to assist you, or kennel your dog early so that you have time to make arrangements with another trainer.

For those of you racing tonight at Dapto and Dubbo, good luck and please follow all procedures at the racetrack.

For anyone who may be struggling at the moment and wanting somebody to talk to, you can do something about that. If you do feel the need to talk to someone about your situation, please do not hesitate to call. You can speak with a qualified counsellor at any time by calling 1300 687 327.

Keep your questions coming, and everyone please keep yourselves and your families safe, and importantly be vigilant in these difficult times.

Tony Mestrov.