GRNSW CEO UPDATE - 16/04/2020

GRNSW CEO UPDATE - 16/04/2020


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: Tony wasn’t National Adoption Day supposed to be this weekend? I take it that it’s not still on?

A: No, National Adoption Day was postponed and it will be moved to a date to be determined. But at GRNSW we have made this month Adoption April, and we’re trying to find homes and new friends for as many people as we can. The interest has been extremely high during this period of self-isolation in both fostering and adoption, and I urge anyone who might be feeling a bit down or lonely, head to the GAP website and you can fill in an application form and the hard working staff at GAP will find a dog to perfectly fit your needs and circumstances. Alternatively we also have in place the Owners’ Incentive Scheme to rehome you dog, and you can find details here.

2. Q: Tony, thank you for showing leadership and for allowing us all to demonstrate how resilient greyhound racing is, just like we did several years ago when they tried to shut us down. It is so incredibly important that we prioritise and protect our racing industry for the sake of the animals first, the people in our industry, participants, breakers, vets, breeders, feed providers, race staff and so on. Whilst I acknowledge the extraordinary difficulties, grief, losses and sadness affecting so many, and I know from a personal and industry viewpoint that it’s difficult not to look at the present, but at the same time I cannot help to also be excited about the possibilities of what comes next for our sport. We have to get through this and again we will, but once we do I can see eventually another bright future for the sport. Is GRNSW mapping our path forward and looking at opportunities so we may not only survive this pandemic but grow and thrive when we eventually come out the other side?

A: This is exactly what we are trying to do. We firstly have to look after the health and safety of our participants, staff, and importantly as you mentioned, our animals, but we must also keep an eye on the future and what lies ahead down the track. This is why we are constantly looking at budgets, and forecasts, and making sure we are tracking as best as possible for the future, because as I have said, when this is over, it will still take some time for all businesses, not just ours, to get back to some sort of stability.

3. Q; I don't have a question as such, I would just like thank you guys for saving my young dog. He smashed his hock in a trial and you helped in paying for his operation and ongoing after care. We would not have been in a position to pay for it all. Keep up the great work and thanks again, very much appreciated. 

A: That is great to hear your young dog is doing well now. The injury rebate scheme was put in place for exactly these situations, and I am glad it was there to be able to help in your circumstances. For further details you can head here.

4. Q: Hi Tony, is there any truth that NSW dogs can go to Melbourne and race?

A: You should contact Greyhound Racing Victoria on this matter, but my understanding is that they will be making an announcement on this matter shortly.

5. Q: I know early days you said that bookmakers weren’t allowed to go on course and field, but obviously a lot has happened in the weeks since then and there is talk about relaxing restrictions and the curve flattening. I was wondering if there has been any talk about allowing bookmakers back on track?

A: No. The restrictions remain firmly in place, and we have no immediate plans to alter them at all.

I have had numerous questions about meetings in various zones and their frequency, and with the new racing calendar about to be released I thought I would hold off answering those questions until everyone takes a look at the new calendar, as some of these questions may then be redundant.

Good luck to all those racing at Dubbo and Dapto today.

As I have regularly mentioned in this column these are tough times and we are as an industry all in it together, so I urge you to pick up the phone and call a fellow participant to make sure they are doing ok as well.

And please, do not forget if there is 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 yourselves and your families safe, and importantly be vigilant in these difficult times.

Tony Mestrov.