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Thursday 19 February 2015 [PDF,79kb]
Deputy Premier and Minister for Racing Troy Grant today said the Greyhound Racing NSW Board had agreed to step down. Additionally the Board has agreed to stand the CEO aside pending finalisation of Justice McHugh’s review.
The Board has agreed to formally disband and refer their powers to an interim CEO, Paul Newson who is currently head of the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing (OLGR). Mr Newson will continue the day to day operations and strictly enforce any breaches of the rules of racing including those that make it illegal to live bait in NSW.
"The Government takes the issue of animal welfare very seriously," Mr Grant said.
"It is clear self-regulation under the current structure and culture within greyhounds has failed.
"The Government is committed to ensuring anyone caught blooding their dogs will be kicked out of the sport for life and we will restore the integrity of the industry."
The Deputy Premier also announced plans to strengthen and expand the McHugh Review. Justice McHugh will be joined on the review panel by the CEO of RSPCA NSW Steve Coleman, a NSW Police representative and the Chair of the Greyhound Racing Industry Consultation Group Ron Arnold.
"The review will develop a new model of governance to ensure the integrity of the industry and the abhorrent practice of live baiting is stamped out for good," Mr Grant said.
"Last night I spoke with Justice McHugh and encouraged him to be thorough and leave no stone unturned.
"The Government looks forward to taking the review’s findings to Parliament this year.
"During this time I do not want to tar everyone with the same brush, there are many people working in the industry who are similarly appalled at what has been uncovered.
"This is not a personal reflection on the current board members or executive and I thank them for their contribution to the industry.
"The actions being taken reflect the Government’s belief that now is the appropriate time to shine a light through the entire industry.
"Allegations and innuendo have plagued the greyhound racing industry for decades and it is time we ended that speculation, and ensure the sustainability of the industry and the welfare of animals are paramount."
Media: Tess Salmon 0467 740 017