Greyhound Racing Victoria is extremely disappointed that the Greyhound Owners Trainers and Breeders Association (GOTBA) walked away from mediation on Friday, despite our best efforts to reach a constructive outcome.
GRV entered mediation with goodwill and our intention was, and remains, to see it through.
I assure every participant that the Board is firm in its commitment to enable the sport to grow and increases in prize money remain a key priority.
I stress that the sport in Victoria has had a good year, despite extreme conditions under COVID-19. And that has been a team effort between us all.
In that time, Victoria has moved a long way with prize money, substantially increasing the total pool by $12 million since the start of last financial year.
Victoria pays more prize money in total than any jurisdiction. We are second only to Western Australia in average prize money per race, and we offer four-times more racing than WA. In fact, should you be able to nominate for a Victorian race, you will be able to race.
The approach we have taken on prize money, and in increasing it last year, has helped to ensure we have been able to maintain a full racing agenda throughout the COVID 19 pandemic.
In this financial year we will continue looking for opportunity to again increase prize money across all levels of racing, especially for grass roots racing so vital to the sport.
Prize money is already on the Board’s agenda for our 14 September meeting and will be on the agenda for November and December meetings. We will consult with you on this from 1 September.
Now, and in years ahead, GRV must balance its role as regulator and promoter of greyhound racing to maintain the industry’s viability, and to secure the sport’s future for current and next generations.
We strive for our prize money to remain competitive with other states, and we don’t want to lose the leadership won through your efforts.
To achieve this, we are going beyond prize money to build safer racing with strong welfare and integrity. This allows us to meet participant and community expectations, now and in years ahead.
We cannot lose focus on safety, welfare, and integrity – these are essential to the sport’s future – but equally, we are now well placed to focus more on the commercial side of the business to build on our growth.
The Board places all participants front and centre in all that we do. You and your dogs are the sport. That’s why we genuinely want to resolve the issues raised by GOTBA.
GRV acknowledges the importance of improved participant engagement and communications. We will continue to consult more closely with participants on a range of key matters going forward.
The work that has been done through all your efforts – participants, clubs, rehoming groups, and others – enables the Board to focus strongly on ensuring the sport continues to grow and that increases in prize money remain a key priority.
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