There are more industry issues and regulator proposals that GOTBA addresses each year, on top of assisting members with personal racing related issues and attending to general business. 2017 was no exception.
Members of the Committee collectively donated many hundreds of hours of work on the draft Code of Practice this year, in the form of phone calls, writing of reports and attendance at meetings/workshops conducted by DEDJTR, GRV and various other Departments. It has been all consuming, particularly for Committee Members Sandra Reed, Lynton Hogan, Robert Britton and Geoff Miles, and all the time given is voluntary. Whilst there are still some requirements that we are not happy with and are still trying to have addressed, the endeavours of the Committee are a major reason why the latest draft is a significant improvement on the one released for public comment.
The work on the draft COP conducted by GOTBA will ultimately be to the benefit of ALL participants, not just Members. GOTBA is consulted as the Association can offer insights and advice that other organisations, committees and groups are unable to, which is why GOTBA's work is so critical.
In addition to the work on the draft COP, in 2017 the Committee was actively involved in providing input and feedback via phone calls, liaising with participants, writing reports and attending meetings:
- on Skills Australia’s Greyhounds Project – National Training Package
- to the Department of Justice regarding the Bittar report
- to GRV on the Proposed Prizemoney & Breeding Package
- to GRV on the Proposed New and Amended Registration Requirements
- to Department of Planning regarding the on-going “right of use” prior to the release of the Planning Guidelines
In addition, GOTBA Victoria provided members to sit on the following GRV Committees/Groups:
- Helping Hand Fund
- Finish on Lure Working Party
- Industry Consultation Group
and ran the following workshops:
- Reward Based Lure Systems
- Code of Practice Submission Help Days.
What else did GOTBA work on in 2017?
- In response to Member complaints, GOTBA:
- successfully lobbied GRV to return to using the previous supplier of stretch vests,
- identified an anomaly in the way points are allocated for 300+ ranking meetings and queried the method with the Grading Department, ensuring the issue was added to the grading review list,
- successfully argued for DNA requirements to be relaxed for new broods to allow females in season to have the DNA application made and still be served before their pink card was issued.
- In response to our wider concern regarding reduced breeding, our suggestion to GRV for a short-term fee waiver for pink card applications and DNA kits was implemented.
- In direct response to the unfairness stemming from the vast number of cobalt and ketamine positive tests ending up in disqualifications for members and participants, GOTBA lobbied hard over an extended time for Stewards to soften penalty recommendations to the RADB from disqualification to suspension and fines, particularly for first time drug offences.
- GOTBA firmly believes in a breeder reward scheme, provided it rewards excellence in breeding based on actual results on the track. In response to repeated GRV concerns surrounding reduced breeding, GOTBA repeatedly advised that a breeder bonus system should be brought back to assist with stimulating quality breeding. It was very pleasing to see a breeder bonus return in the prize money proposals mid-year and then be implemented on the back of GOTBA's, members and participant feedback.
Not a bad result for a small group of passionate volunteers!
Looking forward to 2018, GOTBA will be a key member of the working party, along with GRV and the Clubs, whose purpose is to develop templates for use by participants to comply with Code of Practice requirement, and plan to run Code of Practice seminars for Members in preparation for implementation. In addition, the Committee will devote time to addressing the shortcomings in the Planning Guidelines and will also have a Member sitting on the Racing Reference Group.
We are proud of the work done on behalf of our members, greyhound racing and all participants and would like to take the time to thank those members who contribute to the ongoing improvement of the sport by joining the Association and supporting the GOTBA Committee.