Bernie Carolan will step down as Chair of Greyhound Racing Victoria after a four-year term that has brought significant progress for the code.
Mr Carolan was appointed GRV Chair in 2015 and he has led greyhound racing through a period of upheaval to deliver sustained reform and growth.
Minister for Racing, Martin Pakula turned to the respected former public transport executive in the wake of the live-baiting scandal that threatened the future of the code, and his contribution to greyhound racing and the wider racing industry has been acknowledged as having been outstanding.
The GRV had by last year addressed all 39 recommendations that flowed from reviews led by Racing Integrity Commissioner Sal Perna and Victoria’s then Chief Veterinary Officer Charles Milne.
A new era of greyhound racing in Victoria has produced advancements on several fronts, including:
- Prizemoney and other returns to participants rising from $42 million in 2014-15 to a record $45 million last season.
- Wagering turnover increasing by 41 per cent over four years, from $1.6 billion to $2.26 billion.
- Re-homing of former racing dogs, including through GRV’s Greyhound Adoption Program, increasing by 50 per cent between 2015 and 2018 – from 1,755 to 2,641.
- The number of greyhounds euthanised falling by 69 per cent – from 3,166 to 975 – in the same period.
Mr Carolan has been a long-time contributor to the Victorian community. He held a number of senior roles in the transport sector, serving as chief executive of Metlink Victoria and the Transport Ticketing Authority and as managing director of M>Tram.
As head of the Transport Ticketing Authority he was tasked with completing the introduction of the myki system.
Minister Pakula acknowledged Mr Carolan’s enormous contribution to Victorian greyhound racing.
“Bernie took on the difficult task of turning around a code that was in genuine crisis and he has done a great job for an industry that supports more than 4,300 full-time equivalent jobs in Victoria.”
“Animal welfare measures have improved each year, which is no less than what the community expects.”
“The code is in a far better position than when he took over and the challenge now is for its leaders to continue this progress.”
Mr Carolan will relinquish his position as GRV Chair on 30 June but will remain on the board while an appointment process takes place. Deputy Chair Peita Duncan will be GRV Acting Chair during this time.