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  • 15/07/2019 5:41 PM | Anonymous

    The Greyhound Owners Trainers and Breeders Association of Victoria Inc has filed a submission with Greyhound Racing Victoria on its Traralgon track design consultation.

    It is here - GOTBA Vic - Traralgon consultation - Submission final.pdf  The submission relies on consideration of information and feedback from a variety of sources.  If you have the opportunity to, read it in full.

    A short summary of the submission:

    GRV has consulted on 2 track design options, excluding a 2 bend track.

    Of the options given, GOTBA Vic expresses a preference for the ‘U track’. It is more functional from the perspective of a greyhound racing participant. In the submission, we note some racing matters that will need to be monitored if a one bend design is ultimately implemented.

    GRV’s consultation says nothing about track base, drainage and surface. This was a, possibly the, major issue with the previous track – the Traralgon complex was redeveloped at a total cost of $6m to GRV’s budget in 2014/15. Much of that expenditure was wasted. Such waste cannot recur.

    Development of any preferred design must settle on a carefully considered base, drainage and surface design solution, including “best for purpose” sand type before tendering, to avoid repeating past mistakes and impacts for the greyhound.

    Finally, as a matter of fairness to participants, GRV should also, after considering submissions by us and others, summarise key feedback items, and publish a summary of GRV’s consideration of them, to close the consultation loop.

    GOTBA Vic Committee

    July 2019






  • 01/07/2019 9:08 AM | Anonymous

    GRV has sought feedback on two new Traralgon track design proposals – a J-shaped track and a U-shaped track, each one turn, see https://www.grv.org.au/feedback-traralgon-track-designs/.   Feedback period ends 12 July 2019.

    We are considering the consultation version material.  GOTBA Vic has, on various committees, seen that each of GRV and the Traralgon club has carried out a significant amount of work to date for a new Traralgon track.   GOTBA Vic and its members identified severe issues with the old (well, 2014) Traralgon track (eg early 2018 member survey):  properly considered investment by GRV in safe racing and track infrastructure is an unequivocal benefit for the sport. 

    GRV and the Traralgon club's preparatory work is to be commended.  Any repeat of the most recent rebuild must, however, be avoided at all costs.

    Both new designs would result in very different racing to any current Victorian track, for the dogs and visually for participants and punters.  The racetrack experience will not be the same.  Participants should consider potential issues they may see.  You may see things that may not have been considered and that might make a difference.

    Some things to think about:

    ·         J track:  this has a 300m straight track within it, and 400m/500m starts that use the ‘J’ bend.  It does however have 2 different catching pens (one for 300m straight run, one at the end of the ‘J’ for the 400/500).  Do you think that this creates a potential issue (ie could greyhounds ‘switch’ from one to the other safely)? If it does, what might be done to address the risk?)

    ·         U track:  350m, 420m and 500m starts.  No straight track distance.  Single catching pen for all distances.  A 350m one turn run is unusual in Victoria (though not unheard of – 347m old Geelong for eg).  The next distance up - 420m is close (though 390m to 450m is common).  Comparing the distances for the ‘U track’ and ‘J track’, which set would you prefer to race on with your dogs? Why?

    ·         Of the J or U track which would you prefer to trial on?  Which would you prefer (if any) to educate or pre-train on? Why?

    ·         No 2 turn track option:  a 2 turn track would likely have had to use the exact same shape as previously, but be entirely rebuilt too (ie surface, drainage etc).  Data suggests that 2 turn tracks can struggle to produce better safety outcomes than one bend tracks, particularly if there are issues with the surface.   A one-bend track is seen as a safety matter.

    There are other important matters for a new track that impact on safety, including sand/surface profiles etc.   Surface and track profile was a huge issue at the old Traralgon track.  GOTBA Vic continues to follow up on this across all Victorian tracks. Also, costing for the proposed designs has not been released.  We will follow these up separately.

    But on the design proposals, let us know what you think, including by email at gotbav@gmail.com


  • 24/05/2019 10:24 AM | Anonymous

    GOTBA Vic recently surveyed participants about grading of Level 3 races in Victoria.  Aged Prize Money (APM) Level 3 grading is very clearly not supported. It results in greyhounds being denied opportunities to race, reduced viability and premature retirements.  Revision of Level 3 grading needs to occur. Participants expressed views on alternatives.

    These are the high level survey results from almost 100 participants asked a range of questions about Level 3 grading before and after use of Aged Prize Money as an exclusive grading method.

    Key survey findings, summarised:

    • Exclusive APM Level 3 grading is not supported - 63% of respondents rate it poor or very poor.
    • Before full APM 65% of respondents said their Level 3 greyhounds averaged 3 or more starts per month.
    • After full APM, 70% of respondents said their Level 3 greyhounds averaged 2 or less starts per month.
    • Nearly 60% of participants have retired or moved on dogs since full Level 3 APM.  70% of respondents say that since full APM Level 3 grading, their Lvl 3 greyhounds have not had the opportunity to race at a level that gives them a fair chance of earning prize money.
    • Participants support the reintroduction of grading at Level 3 based on holding Ranking meetings and Tier 3 meetings and including options for ranking races to be programmed within other meetings.

    For a presentation of the results in PDF, see GOTBA Grading Survey - 23 May 2019.pdf

    A slideshow of the results - see GOTBA Grading Survey - results.mp4

    These results show that participants want strong consideration of a return to earlier forms of Level 3 grading to best cater for needs of participants and to assist retention in the racing program.

    The results will inform our actions going forward.

    GOTBA Vic Committee

    May 2019


  • 10/05/2019 12:25 PM | Anonymous

    Increases in costs and stagnant returns are endangering participation in Victorian greyhound racing.  Those are the clear messages of GOTBA Vic's 2019 costs and future participation survey of more than 100 Victorian greyhound racing participants.

    Key survey findings, summarised:

    • Average cost of keeping young or breeding greyhounds per week: about $72;
    • Average cost of keeping greyhounds in training per week: about $76;
    • However 1/3rd respondents put weekly costs of keeping greyhounds at $90 pw or more;
    • 94% of respondents say keeping greyhounds is more expensive now than in 2017;
    • Most respondents say costs of keeping greyhounds have increased by at least 15% in the last 2 years;
    • 50% of respondents indicated an intention to participate less in 2020 and beyond than they do now.  Reasons: rules and regulation, Code and costs/prizemoney.

    For a presentation of the results in PDF, see Member Cost Survey 2019 - Results - pdf.pdf

    A slideshow of the results - see Member Cost Survey 2019 - video.mp4

    These results show that serious attention needs to be paid, now, by GRV to addressing costs pressures.  When combined with our 2018 report on GRV's own financials from a participant perspective - 2018 Report  - it shows much must be done.  Soon.

    The results will inform our actions going forward.

    GOTBA Vic Committee

    May 2019

  • 01/04/2019 2:59 PM | Anonymous

    GOTBA Vic's 2019 Supanite is coming up soon, on Wednesday 24 April (night meeting) at Sandown.  A night for members and sponsors to meet, discuss and catch up on issues in what has been a busy time in greyhound racing.

    The committee would love to see you there.  Here's the flyer - GOTBA SupaNite Flyer 2019.doc

    Book a dining package through Sandown to attend and we'll see you there!

    Cost - Buffet: Adult $40, kids 6-14yrs $15, 15-17 $25.  Buffet with drinks package included $65.  For trainers with greyhound racing on night, buffet is $15.

    There are a number of prizes and opportunities for members on and before the night.  One of the big events is a silent auction of  breaking-in and education spots - 2 from each of Keyon Kennels, Doctors Kennels and Casbrakay Kennels and one each from each of Catch Me If You Can kennels and Manning’s. Members can participate in the auction by sending in bids before 19 April 2019, but then also on the night itself, by filling in and returning the GOTBA SupaNite Auction 2019.doc

    GOTBA VIC COMMITTEE

  • 01/02/2019 10:18 AM | Anonymous

    GOTBA Vic has been requested by GRV to participate in a small (6-7 member) working group that is assisting on the development of proforma or template documents and other material ahead of the formal commencement of the Code of Practice for the Keeping of Racing Greyhounds on 1 January 2020.

    GOTBA Vic committee members Rob Britton and Lynton Hogan are on the working group.

    We will keep you informed of our progress.  Comments to us by members on Code matters will, of course, be welcome.

    For more info, see the attached Note to Members - GOTBA Vic and GRV Working Group.pdf


  • 21/11/2018 8:14 AM | Anonymous

    This Saturday 24 November is a critical State election for greyhound racing.  At GOTBA Vic we are politically neutral, save as to those parties who want to end greyhound racing, the Greens and the Animal Justice Party.  If you care about greyhound racing, do not support them with your vote this Saturday.  

    Both of Victoria’s two major parties have shown strong support for and interest in Victorian greyhound racing over the last 4 years.  Unaffected by the needs of any alliance with the Greens or Animal Justice Party, we would hope and expect it would stay that way.

    In addition, Jeff Bourman MP of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party expressed his and his party’s support to us and greyhound racing in person at our last committee meeting.  We appreciated that.  The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party is an excellent choice in the Legislative Council (upper house) as a check on major parties (and the Greens/AJP) in the interests of greyhound racing.  Better still, Geoff Collins, a former GOTBA Vic committee member, is standing for Victoria’s Western Region for the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party.  He would be a powerful ally for greyhound racing as a parliamentarian and we wish him good luck.

    Whichever way you wish to vote, and we at GOTBA Vic are not telling you to vote any particular way, we implore you to ask yourself, how is the vote you are casting in the best interests of greyhound racing in this State?


    GOTBA Vic Committee


  • 17/11/2018 1:47 PM | Anonymous

    GOTBA Vic has analysed GRV's annual reports between 2012/13 and 2016/17 (2017/18 is not yet available).  Our report is attached - GOTBA Vic's GRV Annual Report Analysis.pdf

    It makes for disturbing reading. 

    Day in, day out participants and clubs are working ever harder to advance the sport and the welfare of the greyhound under ever increasing administrative and time burden. Yet your percentage share of wagering revenue has dropped markedly. 

    It is very clear to us that participants are now not being properly rewarded relative to the revenue the sport brings in and are not getting their fair share.  A simple example: Victorian horse racing participants received 57% of RVL's wagering revenue in 2016/17, you received 47% of GRV's wagering revenue in that year. You received 55% in 2012/13.  

    Money that should come to you is being spent elsewhere.  Our report shows rampant GRV expenditure on things that are not returns to you or investment in physical track infrastructure. 

    This HAS to change.   GOTBA Vic expects GRV's revenue in financial year 2017/18 to reach almost $100m

    We encourage you to read the report and contact us with any questions on it.  Just like we will, you should use every opportunity you have to press GRV on returns to participants.  GOTBA Vic believes the only way the trends we identify will be sustainably reversed is to return participant participation and input into the GRV Board.

    GOTBA Vic Committee


  • 05/11/2018 2:29 PM | Anonymous

    Each month GOTBA Vic provides a short note for inclusion in GRV’s Greyhound Monthly.  This month’s report was rejected by GRV, without reason. 

    It read:

    If GRV receives wagering income of $68m a year, how much of that should GRV spend on returns to participants (prize money, starter fees and bonuses)? On infrastructure? On staff? On its integrity function? Now what about if GRV has income of $90m or even $100m?

    As I said in last month’s report, what matters to GOTBA Vic, irrespective of change, is that all participants are fairly treated and fully rewarded for their participation and success.

    What GRV spent on participant returns and infrastructure in 2012/13 on income of $68m and in 2016/17  on income of $90m (latest available figures) may surprise you. 

    In November 2018, GOTBA Vic will release an analysis of participant returns and GRV infrastructure spend using GRV’s own reported figures. We have made a comparison between GRV and Racing Victoria Limited.  While much has changed in our industry since 2012/13, and GRV does many things well, what we can say with absolute confidence is that GRV now simply does not return a satisfactory proportion of its income to participants. Its infrastructure spend is low. 

    That needs to change.  Participants in 2018 race more and have more costs imposed on their participation. We are pressing for fairness. Participants must get a better return.  Your voice helps us do that.

    You can expect more analysis and action in future from us, as well as help. 

    [GOTBA Vic AGM paragraph not reproduced here]

    GOTBA Vic is committed to being an open, transparent organisation for its members, one that enhances and projects the voices and interests of greyhound racing participants at every level for the benefit of all of them.  We best do that by hearing from you and from your active membership with us.

    GOTBA Vic's more detailed report on GRV spending, using GRV's own figures, will soon follow.  

    Some highlights (or lowlights...):

    • Participant share of wagering income has decreased from just under 60% in 2008/09 to 47% in 2016/17 (last available figures) – in today’s terms that difference is almost $13m in annual prizemoney;   
    • GRV annual wagering income (TAB and race fields)  has increased from $68.6m in 2012/13 to $91m in 2016/2017 (and, we understand, almost $100m in 2017/18);
    • GRV’s expenditure on itself, particularly employees, has exploded: GRV’s ‘other expenses’ (excluding participants returns and infrastructure) has ballooned from $14.6m in 2008/09 and $20.3m in 2012/13 to $50.3m in in 2016/17.
    You and your greyhounds deserve better.  You have borne costs associated with changes to this industry too.  You are not being properly compensated for doing so.

    For further information, see my attached letter, which I encourage participants to share - GOTBA Vic - President’s Report - Nov 2018.pdf

    Lynton Hogan

    GOTBA Vic President.




  • 24/10/2018 8:19 PM | Anonymous

    GOTBA VIC will hold its annual general meeting at Sandown Greyhound Racing Club from 6pm on Sunday 18 November 2018. Registration will commence from 545pm.  Non members can join on the night.

    We will discuss the year ahead and key initiatives to advance the interests of participants. More info will follow on content of the meeting.

    Nominations for committee positions will be open until 4 November to members of more than 12 months.  Nomination forms here - GOTBA Committee Nomination Form.pdf and should be returned to the committee by email to gotbav@gmail.com or as noted in form, 14 days before the meeting.

    2018 GOTBA AGM Flyer.docx 

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