• 30/01/2018 9:09 AM | Anonymous

    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.

  • 16/10/2017 1:26 PM | Anonymous

    GOTBA Vic advocates for its owner, trainer and breeder members.

    Financially, Victorian greyhound racing is thriving.  Money pours into GRV from an ever-increasing race wagering market share and our members provide the means for this to occur.  After significant GRV focus in the past 3 years on other matters, it is well past time for greater regular financial return to all levels and categories of participant to become a major, continuing GRV priority if it wants to arrest any slide in participation.  

    GRV’s original prizemoney and breeding package was obviously inadequate – see the GOTBA original proposal submission.  The amended version is better - but we think there is still room for improvement.

    In short, our issues with and comments on the amended proposal:

    1.      Of the two options, option 1 is preferred.  This option focusses comparatively more on Level 3/Tier3 increases, and we expect will benefit a wider proportion of participants than Option 2.


    2.      The overall prizemoney increase needs to be at least the $2.83m originally proposed.  The revised proposal increases annual prizemoney by only $2.55m.  We appreciate that the breeder package has changed (but not necessarily increased, see below), but this is no reason to reduce the original prizemoney increase given the greater revenue flowing into GRV.


    3.      Breeder package (VicBred) amounts must always be paid. Importantly, GRV’s amended breeder proposal is not really to pay $1.40m annually to VicBred owners and breeders.  The reason: VicBred dogs will not win all of the planned races, GRV will only pay half the scheduled amount if a VicBred greyhound runs 2nd or 3rd and none of the scheduled amount if no VicBred dog places.  On the GRV proposal, a significant part of the $1.4m annual amount will not be paid at all and will be retained by GRV.


    In GOTBA Vic’s view, the entire $1.40m pool must be paid out, each year, to owners and breeders. That amount is less than was paid under the GOBIS annual breeding package payments before it ceased. There are several possible ways to do this:


    (a)    Each quarter, as unpaid funds accrue, apply unpaid funds to several VICBRED ONLY events at provincial tracks in which moneys are then paid out (preferably past the 1st 3 placegetters); and/or


    (b)   Pay 100% of the allocated bonus amount to the VicBred greyhound that finishes 2nd or 3rd an is the first VicBred dog (ie rather than 50%); and/or


    (c)    Each quarter, redistribute unpaid amounts into the general prizemoney pool (not preferred).


    4.       Starter fees.  It is appropriate to focus now on prizemoney and breeder payments, before any increase to current starter fees.  But future prizemoney increase models should continue to consider whether starter fee levels are appropriate at that time – those fees form part of a responsible revenue distribution model.


    Conclusion and the next step for prizemoney


    GOTBA Vic wants to see further prizemoney increases – this package must only be the first step.


    We are also want to see prizemoney proportions for 1st, 2nd and 3rd come closer to 65% to the winner, 20% for 2nd and 15% for 3rd by increasing lower place prizemoney over the short to medium term. 


    Participation in this sport is best enhanced through positive return and incentive to owners, breeders and trainers.  Costs are borne by each and those costs have increased.  Our regulator needs to realise this and take action accordingly.  We, and our members, will be watching and acting to ensure this occurs.


    GOTBA Vic Committee

    16 October 2017

  • 06/09/2017 10:50 AM | Anonymous

    Thank you to all those Members who responded to last week's Survey on GRV's Prizemoney Proposal.  On the back of the responses received, the Committee were able to write a very detailed submission on the Proposals.

    Whilst supporting, in theory, the increases to starters fees and prize money as well as the introduction of breeder bonuses, GOTBA found that the accompanying reduction in the majority of prize-money levels unacceptable and actually counter productive to GRV's stated aims of improving returns to owners and trainers of greyhounds at all levels of racing and encouraging breeding.

    GOTBA would like to see expanded detail on the breeder rights part of the proposal, mindful that a breeder may in fact be unfairly penalised for results that are beyond their control if the proposal was adopted as is. 

    The re-introduction of breeder bonuses is a great initiative but we are concerned at how many eligible "Vic Bred" races will actually be programmed.

    To read the full submission, please click on the link below.

    GOTBA Submission to GRV re proposed prizemoney etc changes.pdf

  • 31/08/2017 11:41 AM | Anonymous

    GOTBA Victoria understands that not all of our members prefer to communicate with us via email. As such, we now have a central mobile phone number that members can call or text.

    If you need to speak to a Committee member, please call or text 0423 357 620 and leave a detailed message.  Your message will be forwarded to the appropriate Committee Member who can then contact you direct.

  • 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 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


    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.




    Sunday 30 July, 2017


    Monday 31 July, 2017

    The Meadows

    Wednesday 2 August, 2017


    Wednesday 2 August, 2017


    Thursday 3 August, 2017


    Thursday 3 August, 2017


    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.


    If you have any questions - email us at

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