RICHMOND Greyhound Racing Club has been left reeling after the Baird government’s shock decision to completely abolish the sport as of July 1, 2017.
Brad Adam, the CEO of Richmond Race Club said the significance of the ban will be felt far and wide across the whole community.
“The impact of the ban on greyhound racing in the area will have a massive hit both financially and socially to our community,” Mr Adam said.
“The club directly employs 30 staff member and then there is all the second and third tier employees touched by the club. Things like the clubs providers, the local butchers and greengrocers.
“As a monetary value, it would be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars that would be directly lost from local businesses and industry,” he said.
Earlier this month Premier Mike Baird announced a total ban on greyhound racing across the state as of July 1 next year after the findings of a 16 month long inquest into animal abuse within the industry were made public.
Shane Gorman, a former spokesperson for the Greens, said this decision finally represents what is happening in animals sport industries across the country.
“For quite a long time animal sports have been an integral part of in the betting and sports industry in this country, but it wasn’t until the whistle blowing last year that it showed live baiting and blooding was going on,” Mr Gorman said.
Mr Gorman also said the state government needs to support the greyhound trainers and those affected by the industry cessation.
“What happens next is important. The state government needs to apologise to both the people involved and the animals involved, and then they should invest in an industry package to help people re-skill into other industries.”
But Mr Adam said the state
government has left the industry and livelihoods of hundreds of families across the state in the dark.
“The state government hasn’t made anything fully clear. I’ve got trainers here who’ve spent up to $200,000 in upgrading their properties after new regulations came in last year. They’ve just left trainers now wondering what their financial future looks like,” Mr Adam said.
Even if the government offers up remuneration packages to trainers there is doubt within the industry that any form of compensation will simply not be enough.
“There is no way the government could make a remuneration package for someone who has spent many
hundreds of thousands of dollars in training dogs, in updating their properties, particularly when some of these trainers have 20, 30 or even 40 dogs,” Mr Adam warned.
In New South Wales alone there is in excess of 10,000 people directly and indirectly employed by businesses involved in greyhound racing, with over $1.1 billion wagered on NSW greyhounds between 2014 and 2015.
There has been no word as yet of what kind of financial help will be offered to greyhound racers and the industry as whole, but with so many affected across the state it is a certain that not all involved will recover as quickly as others.