Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) today announced it will increase travel subsidies to race participants for both TAB and non-TAB race meetings from May 1, 2018.
GRNSW Chief Executive Officer Tony Mestrov said for TAB race meetings the subsidy would increase from $40 to $60 for the first runner and from $20 to $30 for each runner thereafter.
At non-TAB race meetings the subsidy will increase from $20 to $60 for the first runner and from $20 to $30 for each runner thereafter.
Mr Mestrov said the increase will be paid until 31st December, 2018 as it is subject to review by GRNSW to ensure it aligns with GRNSW’s strategic plan and priorities.
“These increases recognise the cost of travelling, particularly for the small owner/trainers who may only have one or two greyhounds,” he said.
Mr Mestrov said greyhound racing in NSW is dispersed across a very large area, from Lismore in the north, Wagga in the south-west, to Broken Hill in the far west.
“Over 50 per cent of greyhounds race in more than one region during the year which puts financial pressure on the smaller participants,” he said.
“This is about giving them a helping hand to continue to enjoy the sport they love.”
Mr Mestrov said a trip from Wagga to Goulburn is a 500-kilometre round journey which equates to about $80 in petrol.
“In 2017, 1830 greyhounds competed in races and did not win any prizemoney,” he said.
“This equates to 22% of all greyhounds, with a further 2741 greyhounds or 33% winning less than $1000 across an entire year.”
“The small participants are the backbone of the industry and this increase is about giving them a leg-up.”
Mr Mestrov said this was the first in a series of measures to boost the strength of the industry.
“A major review which will set the strategic direction of the industry is well underway,” he said.
“Fundamental to that review is to ensure that we not only have an industry that exceeds all welfare requirements, but also one that is sustainable in the long term,” he said.