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  • Rikki Lambert

Greyhound welfare hearings heading to Temora

The New South Wales Legislative Council inquiry into the effectiveness of the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission (GWIC) will hold a hearing at Temora in southern New South Wales on Wednesday 2 June.

Inquiry chair and Shooters Fishers and Farmers MLC Rob Borsak said in a statement that members of the public are invited to attend and to speak directly to the committee during a public forum.

The inquiry is the latest chapter in the saga on greyhound racing in New South Wales that played a major role in the resignation of the previous premier, the Liberals' Mike Baird. The Coalition state government had planned to ban greyhound racing, but was forced to backdown within three months after a regional backlash.

The Baird government was also dogged by criticisms of Sydney late night lockout laws and the potential forcing of small councils to amalgamate.

The Berejiklian government established the GWIC in 2017 as part of reforms to improve greyhound welfare, following allegations of live baiting in 2015 that sparked the abortive Baird ban.

The Legislative Council's committee is also visiting other areas of regional New South Wales:

  • Fort Scratchley Function Centre, Newcastle – Thursday 27 May 2021, from 12.45 pm

  • Bathurst Greyhounds, Bathurst – Friday 28 May 2021, from 10.30 am

  • Temora Greyhounds, Temora – Wednesday 2 June 2021

  • Goulburn Greyhound Racing Club – Thursday 3 June 2021

Committee Chair, the Hon Robert Borsak MLC, said in the statement:

"This inquiry is looking at the functioning of the GWIC, which was set up in 2017 as the independent regulator of the greyhound industry in New South Wales. Its role is to promote and protect the welfare of greyhounds, safeguard the integrity of greyhound racing and betting, and to maintain public confidence in the greyhound racing industry."
"Following stories in the media that the GWIC isn’t doing its job effectively, this inquiry was set up to examine it. Our terms of reference require us to look at into how well the Commission is performing its role, with a particular focus on the policies, procedures, mechanisms, and overarching principles of the Commission in relation to industry participants."

The news came on the same day that Victoria announced two new board appointments for Greyhound Racing Victoria. Minister for Racing Martin Pakula announced on Wednesday afternoon his government had appointed Bill Buccilli and Daniel Nugent to the board of Greyhound Racing Victoria.

Mr Nugent has extensive commercial and corporate experience including senior roles at Energy Australia and KPMG. He has been actively involved in the greyhound racing industry and is a former member of the GRV industry consultative group subcommittee.

Mr Buccilli has a long and successful association with the greyhound industry, including as an owner. He brings significant experience in real estate management to the board, having held a number of director roles at Melbourne agencies.

Minister for Racing Martin Pakula said in a statement:

“The appointment of Bill Buccilli and Daniel Nugent will add significant depth and expertise to the GRV board.”
“Peita Duncan has very ably led the code through the pandemic and I am pleased that she has agreed to continue to serve as chair, and that Emmett Dunne will be her deputy.”
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