GWIC Inquiry Questionnaire Responses

As part of the inquiry, the committee is seeking the views of interested stakeholders via the following online questionnaire. Responses to the questionnaire may be used in the committee’s report. The questionnaire can be found here.

We have pre-written responses for you to copy and paste into the questionnaire. Please ensure that you personalise them for a greater impact.

Responses are due by 11:59 PM, Friday 4 December 2020.

Q.1.

Enter your personal contact details.

Q.2.

Select Interested member of the public.

Q.3. How satisfied are you with the regulation of the greyhound industry by the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission?

Select Dissatisfied

Q.4. What impacts, positive or negative, have you seen following the creation of the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission?

The establishment of GWIC including the separation of conflicting commercial and regulatory interests has resulted in some welcome incremental improvements with the regulation of the NSW greyhound racing industry; notably with an enhanced level of transparency surrounding the reporting and oversight of animal welfare and integrity matters.

Under the current structure GWIC is however restricted by inadequate powers, insecure funding and resources and a lack of ministerial support which curtails GWIC from exercising its intended role as the independent regulator, in line with the NSW State Government’s commitments and undertakings, and public expectations.

For GWIC to achieve its stated purpose and principal objective of “promoting and protecting” greyhound welfare, it must be adequately equipped to increase its focus on meaningful and pro-active initiatives and measures to improve animal welfare and integrity through evidenced based outcomes. A new government funding model, separate from the gambling industry, and an increased level of ministerial support to clearly reinforce GWIC’s independence as the regulator, would secure and promote GWIC’s important role with the protection of greyhound welfare and integrity within the NSW greyhound racing industry.

Q.5. How appropriate is the disciplinary action for those industry participants who breach legal requirements as set out by the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission?

Select Inappropriate

Q.6. Do you have any comments on the appropriateness of disciplinary action for those industry participants who breach legal requirements as set out by the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission?

Current disciplinary action/s for industry participants who breach GWIC legal requirements are very inadequate and insufficient, and fail to provide appropriate penalties and/or consequences in line with public expectations and government commitments and undertakings regarding animal welfare and cruelty matters, and particularly where the welfare of greyhounds is compromised, risked and/or impacted. The penalties awarded against participants for administering a prohibited substance should be substantially increased to adequately reflect the seriousness of the breach, and the long-term suffering and welfare impacts experienced by any greyhound/s.

Q.7. Do you have a view on the options for appeal for those industry participants who breach legal requirements as set out by the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission?

No comment.

Q.8. Do you have a view on the relationship between the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission, Greyhound Racing NSW, and industry participants?

From a public perspective, GRNSW and industry participants appear to publicly undermine and disrupt GWIC in its endeavours to fulfil its regulatory purpose and role and level of independence. It is inappropriate for GRNSW and/or industry participants to attempt to influence GWIC regulations, policies, procedures or pro-active initiatives designed to improve greyhound welfare or the integrity of the greyhound racing industry.

It is essential that GWIC continue to operate with independent government funding separate from GRNSW and the gambling industry, to enable GWIC to fulfil its statutory role to the standard expected by the public and in line with government commitments.

Q.9. How satisfied are you with the actions, conduct and effectiveness of the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission, in particular in relation to its role in improving the welfare of greyhounds?

Select Dissatisfied

Q.10. How satisfied are you with the actions, conduct and effectiveness of Greyhound Racing NSW, in particular in relation to its role in improving the welfare of greyhounds?

Select Very dissatisfied

Q.11. Do you have any comments on the actions, conduct and effectiveness of the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission and Greyhound Racing NSW, in particular in relation to their role in improving the welfare of greyhounds?

As outlined in my earlier responses, the establishment of GWIC has resulted in some incremental improvements with the regulation of greyhound welfare and integrity, as well as an increased level of transparency with the NSW greyhound racing industry. GWIC’s current limited powers and insecure funding arrangements however do not enable GWIC to undertake and fulfil its intended purpose and role to the level expected. This is a reflection of legislative inadequacies and shortcomings rather than a criticism of GWIC’s endeavours.

The lack of secure, permanent and independent government funding and legislative limitations included in the NSW Greyhound Racing Act 2017 restricts GWIC in its powers to undertake and fulfil its role to the standard expected by the NSW public and in line with government commitments and undertakings regarding greyhound welfare and integrity.

The Act restricts GWIC from monitoring all greyhounds over a whole-of-life approach, and a lack of resources including an insufficient number of inspectors, exacerbates this predicament.

GRNSW has failed to act on the University of Technology Sydney’s report on how to make greyhound racing tracks safer. As a direct consequence, an un-acceptable and completely avoidable number greyhound injuries and deaths continue to occur in NSW. GRNSW has also failed in regards to ensuring every greyhound no longer participating in the greyhound racing industry is rehomed in a suitable life-time home.

GWIC plays a critical role with the protection of greyhounds and improving their welfare. Currently GWIC’s role as the independent regulator, faces a level of uncertainty with mounting pressure from the lack of an independent source of government funding, a lack of resources and inadequate support and promotion by GRNSW, industry participants and the NSW Government.