News

  • 29/08/2017 3:29 PM | Anonymous

    In 2013, GOTBA Vic approached the then Victorian Government about developing and implementing new State planning guidelines specific to greyhound facilities, in order to give greyhound participants a right of use to keep greyhounds, without a permit, in certain land zones, if their facilities met certain size and other requirements (which changed depending on zoning).  We have continued since 2013 to work on this issue.

    We did this because, at the time, and since, participants have had all manner of frustration dealing with councils who, in some cases, appear just to dislike greyhound racing and who found any way possible to obstruct or refuse permit applications for the keeping of greyhounds.

    The Minister for Planning has recently released the implemented State planning guidelines (Guidelines), which come into effect today - see https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/policy-and-strategy/planning-reform/new-planning-guidelines-for-greyhound-facilities-across-victoria for the Guidelines and FAQs.

    While there is undoubtedly some benefit to participants from them – particularly as to certainty of facility requirements - on the whole, GOTBA Vic is disappointed with the Guidelines.

    The intended central tenet - a right of use WITHOUT needing to obtain a permit for participants who met the Guideline objectives – has been removed between the 2016 consultation draft and the final version.  A permit is still needed. GOTBA regards this as a fundamental backflip.

    Due to the Guidelines, councils may have more difficulty refusing the permit (and a neighbour or community will have no objection or appeal rights)  if a person’s permit application shows all of the Guideline’s approved measures are met and the number of racing (older than 6 months) dogs does not exceed:

    ·         20 in the Rural Living, Green Wedge and Rural Conservation zones;

    ·         50 in a green Wedge Farming or Rural Activity Zone; or

    ·         10 racing dogs per hectare.

    In a press release dated 25 August 2017, the Minister for Planning states that,
    The Government will closely monitor local councils to ensure the new provisions are being properly applied.”

    So will we.  But we remain intensely sceptical of a system that still requires permits, based on the past experiences of our participants.  That is why we sought a right of use in the first place and that is why we are disappointed with a document and a process that changed so fundamentally, unknown to us, at the last moment.

    For now, the Guidelines are in place.  We ask that our members tell us about how the Guidelines work in practice, and how councils are dealing with applications under them. We are interested in hearing when the system works and when it doesn’t, and why.

    We will not let this issue go, particularly if these Guidelines fail to make the keeping of greyhounds simpler and fairer from a planning perspective.

     

    GOTBA Vic Committee

    29 August 2017


  • 22/08/2017 9:20 AM | Anonymous

    Here's a summary of our activities in the last month (Jul-Aug) and what are doing this month (Aug-Sep):

    1. conducted Code of Practice Workshops across the State helping gather participant feedback; 
    2. various media interviews (Steve Price, Neil Mitchell and others) about the Code of Practice and further contacting politicians about it;
    3. prepared and submitted detailed Code submissions to government (see our separate posts on this) and liaising to give continued input on any changes to the Code;
    4. assisted several members with questions and representation before the RADB on disciplinary matters;
    5. lobbied GRV to change their new race rugs (that did not stretch properly and were unsuitable for larger dogs) - agreed and being implemented by GRV; 
    6. considering GRV's recent prize-money increase consultation so we can provide further feedback to GRV (NOTE: More to follow from us to our members on this in the near future - we want to know your views);
    7. consulting with government in the final stages of the planning 'right of use' guidelines that were intended to allow certain greyhound properties to run without permits (NOTE: We have been on this issue SINCE 2013.  Several aspects of what we were most recently provided with were however not satisfactory, and not what we were told to expect from previous input, and we are pressing several issues further as a result);
    8. continuing input with GRV regarding track surfaces (including reports and studies) and possible use of the follow on lure; and
    9. input to the GRV Industry Consultation Group on various issues.

    GOTBA VIC Committee



  • 16/08/2017 1:54 PM | Anonymous

    Members

    To read GOTBA's final submission on the draft Code of Practice for the Keeping Of Racing Greyhounds, which we submitted on 14 August 2017, visit the member section of the website.

    It is in 2 parts (main report and appendix).

    The committee thanks everyone who contacted us, who participated in workshops and who made submissions themselves.

    Submissions are however only one facet of this issue - the GOTBA will continue to press hard with government, regulators and the media, in the best interests of our members, for an appropriate outcome.

    GOTBA Vic Committee

    16 August 2017


  • 07/08/2017 4:17 PM | Anonymous

    Greyhound racing participants have ONE WEEK to get their submissions on the draft Code of Practice for the Keeping Of Racing Greyhounds done and sent.  See our previous posts for how to do this.

    To read GOTBA's OWN DRAFT SUBMISSIONS ON THE DRAFT CODE. visit the members section of the website.

    Our draft is made up of a principal submission document and an appendix, being an annotated version of the Draft Code itself.

    Please read it and let us know if you have comments.    We will be finalising the submissions in the very near future.

    Again, we IMPLORE our members to do what they can to put their own submissions in by 14 August.

    We will also place our final submissions on the website in due course.


  • 26/07/2017 7:40 PM | Anonymous

    GOTBA Vic will be conducting final workshops to assist participant with making their individual submissions on the Code of Practice for the Keeping of Racing Greyhounds at the below clubs on the following dates - each from 6pm to 8pm.

    See our previous post regarding a template, guide and annotated form of draft Code, which may be used during the workshops.


    Venue:

    Date:

    Ballarat

    Sunday 30 July, 2017

    Warragul

    Monday 31 July, 2017

    The Meadows

    Wednesday 2 August, 2017

    Cranbourne

    Wednesday 2 August, 2017

    Sandown

    Thursday 3 August, 2017

    Shepparton

    Thursday 3 August, 2017

    Geelong

    Friday 4 August, 2017


  • 23/07/2017 4:56 PM | Anonymous

    Template material for individual Code of Practice submissions

    Attached (see further below for explanation):

    1. Submission - template - Draft Code of Practice.docx - template form of individual submission, for your adaptation and completion;
    2. Appendix A - Draft-Code-MARKED 21 July 2017.pdf - an annotated version of the Draft Code with GOTBA Vic's interim comments.  This is designed to assist you but you should not attach it to your own submissions.  A final form of this is likely to be attached to GOTBA Vic's own submissions - it will form only a part of GOTBA Vic's consultation feedback. Reference in our mark-up to submissions are to GOTBA Vic's own submissions.

    GOTBA Vic is working hard with clubs and participants to ensure that as many industry members make their own submissions on the draft Code of Practice for the Keeping of Racing Greyhounds on or before 14 August 2017.

    GOTBA Vic's own submissions will be available in draft form in the coming week.  This will be a very detailed document.  You can get in contact with us on our document in due course.

    Additionally, we will be conducting further workshops in the next week or two to assist the making of individual submissions.

    However the attached template form of submission is intended to help participants complete their own submissionsWe cannot overstate how important it is to make considered individual submissions to Government on the code.  It is one (but not the only) way that we as an industry can try to address a grievously flawed document.

    What to do

    Read the Guide. Read the Template.  If it assists you, read the annotated draft Code.

    Save a copy of the Template to your computer.  Adapt it to your situation and the content you wish to make submissions on. Do this as far ahead of the 14 August 2017 as you can.

    Read the draft GOTBA submission when available for any further ideas (or give us some of yours)!

    Finalise your submission. Ask a friend to read it if you like.

    SUBMIT THE SUBMISSION ON OR BEFORE 14 AUGUST - see the Guide.

    If you have any questions - email us at mailto:gotbav@outlook.com.




  • 14/06/2017 3:39 PM | Anonymous

    The Victorian Government has just released the Greyhound Code of Practice for the Keeping of Racing Greyhounds for public consultation.

    WHEN FINAL, THIS IS A CRITICAL, ENFORCEABLE DOCUMENT THAT WILL REGULATE HOW RACING (AND YOUNGER) GREYHOUNDS MUST BE KEPT.  But its scope is MUCH broader than mere keeping  - from required staffing of properties on which greyhounds are kept, to housing requirements (including kennel / run size and construction), to transport requirements, to record keeping, to health care, to feeding, to breeding, to re-homing, to how greyhounds are transferred, and more.  

    It is truly vital that as many participants as possible consider it, and make submissions where possible.  Once final, the Code will be very difficult to change.

    GOTBA Vic will be considering the consultation draft in detail, and will make available draft submissions for input of members in the next few weeks, prior to making a final submission before the final submission date of 14 August 2017.

    We implore our members to do the following:

    1.  Go to http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/pets/dogs/greyhounds/code-of-practice , and read the draft code of practice in detail.

    2.  Go to http://www.grv.org.au/news/2017/06/14/victorian-governments-proposed-greyhound-code-practice/ and read GRV's press release.  If you consider it helpful, take up GRV's offer of an individual 45 minute session if it may assist you to consider the draft code.

    3. Consider how the code of practice might practically affect you.  Do you disagree or agree with certain parts of it? Why / why not? Will it require you to spend significant sums of money to comply with it?

    4. Prepare a submission on those issues, or alternatively send us an email at gotbav@gmail.com outlining your concerns, using an email heading of "Greyhound Code of Practice: [your name]".

    5. In due course, read GOTBA Vic's draft submissions on this website.  Give us feedback on them.

    6. If you wish, make submissions yourself ON OR BEFORE 14 August 2017 - see instructions at http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/pets/dogs/greyhounds/code-of-practice

    In this regard, participants must recognise that those opposed to the sport of greyhound racing  as a matter of principle may use this opportunity to make submissions to Government that are adverse to the industry, wrong or both. 

    It really is imperative that we have as many considered submissions from participants as possible AND that we do everything in our power towards obtaining a final Code of Practice that fairly balances the welfare of the racing greyhound and the interests of participants and the industry.



  • 28/05/2017 2:46 PM | Anonymous

    On Saturday 17th June, at Sandown Race Track, the GOTBA will be hosting a Workshop/Seminar on reward based lure systems, primarily concentrating on the Finish On Lure. Workshop will run from 10am - 2pm with Lunch Provided. Prominent race caller James Van De Mart is the Workshop host and moderator.

    Speakers both for and against reward based lure systems will talk during the Workshop as well as world renown Animal Trainer/Behaviourist Mr Steve Austin.

    It is extremely important we get a good turn out from both sides of the discussion. Keeping dogs racing keenly and much longer is the only way we are going to be able to have enough dogs to meet future race commitments, as the drastic reduction in breeding numbers is reducing our pool of race dogs.

    Those interested in attending must register/book through the GOTBA Facebook page or phone 0418303151.


  • 16/04/2017 5:22 PM | Anonymous

    In early March we alerted you to the continuing development of a national training package for greyhound industry participants, from catchers and attendants to trainers, breeders and rearers.

    The second version of draft units of competency, related qualifications and skill sets are now available for feedback at Greyhounds Project (Skills Impact).  Feedback is due by Wednesday 26 April 2017.

    We encourage all of our members to provide feedback either directly via the above link or alternatively to us via email at mailto:gotbav@gmail.com with an email subject line 'Greyhound Project: Training Feedback'.  GOTBA will be providing feedback.

    Why this is relevant to you

    There is a national push to formalise and set out the core standards and competencies to be met by various participants in the greyhound industry, particularly in the area of racing integrity and animal welfare.  This will allow training packages to be developed and those standards and competencies to then be taught and assessed.  

    It will be up to regulatory bodies in each State to decide in due course whether or not they will require participants to meet some or all of these standards and competencies (and if so, how), or obtain formal qualifications, as conditions of licences or otherwise. 


    GOTBA Vic does not yet know if or how nationally recognised competencies and qualifications will be set as licensing or training requirements in Victoria.  We will monitor and liaise with GRV as the Victorian regulator on this and we are acutely aware of the differing needs of our members, from hobbyists to professionals.


    For now, we encourage members to consider, at the above link, whether:

    • you agree with the units of competency in the areas of racing and training, breeding and raising and welfare.  Are those skills that are needed?  Are there others in those areas that are not considered?
    • for each 'skill set'  (what competencies and skills particular types of participant (such as catchers, attendants, rearers and breeders) are said to need), are these appropriate? Are there any major skills that say, a breeder, needs that are not included?

    We are always interested in the views of our members and welcome your thoughts and feedback.  By having input, we are investing in the future direction of our industry.


  • 13/03/2017 4:17 PM | Anonymous

    With enormous thanks to Meticulous Lodge, GOTBA Victoria will be running a Members only raffle on SupaNite March 23 to win a free Service to either Barcia Bale, Fabregas or Fernando Bale - Winner's Choice!

    All full GOTBA Members (paid) are eligible for an entry into Raffle. Now is the perfect time to Join or Renew your Membership.  

    Website only members are not eligible for Member Raffles

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