GWIC Responds To Performance Concerns

THE Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission has responded to commentary around the regulatory body’s ongoing performance.

Adam Dobbin

29 July 2020

THE Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission (GWIC) has responded to growing commentary around the regulatory body’s ongoing performance.

In recent weeks, 2GB’s Ray Hadley has been scathing in his assessment of the Commission’s conduct, alleging a toxic culture, bullying and heightened spending was rife within GWIC’s Bathurst bunker.

And it’s that pointed commentary which has led to GWIC issuing Wednesday’s statement, which includes drawing comparisons to Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV), a move that’s understood to have infuriated the hierarchy of their Victorian counterparts.

“In the 2019/20 financial year the Commission’s cash outlays were $16.42 million and $15.66 million in 2018/19,” the statement read.

“The increase from the prior year is largely due to employment costs associated with staff that were not in place at the commencement of the Commission in July 2018.

“The Commission receives funding from the State Government, Point of Consumption Tax; contribution from GRNSW and registration fees.

“In January 2019, an independent review conducted by the Department of Industry determined that the average costs of integrity and welfare functions conducted by GRNSW in the three years preceding the commencement of the Commission, was $13.89 million.”

With a legislative review of the Greyhound Racing Act 2017 now underway, discussion has intensified recently about the best governance structure moving forward for the industry.

But the Commision claims that any suggestion that the regulatory body is excessive in its spending is false.

“In 2019/20, GRNSW paid $8.4 million to GWIC – $5.49 million less than the costs previously incurred by GRNSW for the same functions and almost $0.8 million less than GRNSW paid to the Commission in 2018/19,” the statement added.

“Media commentators have also recently claimed that Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) spends only $10 million on integrity and welfare and has more tracks, more dogs and more participants than NSW.

“To fact check these claims the Commission has produced a comparison of key elements of the industry and integrity and welfare costs reported in NSW and Victoria.

“That comparison shows that NSW operates vastly more tracks and has jurisdiction over a much larger number of greyhounds due to the Commission’s integrity and welfare programs covering all greyhounds, including retired greyhounds owned by industry participants.

“The Commission notes that GRV reported a cost of $19.3 million for its integrity and welfare functions in the 2018/19 financial year. The Commission has endeavoured to compare the cost of “like for like” functions with GRV’s costs. The figure arrived at of $15.3 million appears reasonable but because of differences in the respective organisations, is difficult to accurately reconcile.”

The Greyhound Recorder understands that GRV officials have chosen not to respond and draw in to GWIC’s critique of their operation, despite serious concerns as to their validity.