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Greyhound Racing NSW Announces New Track Safety & Welfare Strategy

GRNSW 4 mins read

Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) today announced a new GRNSW Track Safety & Welfare Strategy 2024

The Board of GRNSW met this week to approve the Strategy and consider a raft of strategic matters that arose out of its consultation, GRNSW operational and financial needs and the expectations of the community following the McHugh Inquiry and the Greyhound Industry Reform Panel that nearly saw our industry shut down.

GRNSW Chief Executive Officer Rob Macaulay said: “The decisions arising will see many significant track improvements, but unfortunately also some closures. There will be a period of transition negotiated with clubs and communities to implement those changes.

“The Strategy importantly provides a framework for capital investment over the coming year in key racetrack projects, and a focus on long term sustainability, greyhound welfare and track safety. That investment will continue in a staged roll-out of projects over the next three years.

“It has been developed in consultation with participants and stakeholders across NSW, including the Minister for Racing, the NSW Office of Racing and the Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission. This statewide consultation process was undertaken over three months from 19 February to 19 May and included:

  • Formal sessions, informal sessions, race meeting visits and track inspections;
  • Solicited feedback from participants via a dedicated portal that received many submissions;
  • A full audit of every NSW greyhound TAB track, non-TAB track and trial track; and,
  • Chairman Adam Casselden SC, along with senior leaders from GRNSW, visiting many tracks and meeting with hundreds of interested participants and other stakeholders.

“There are further reforms coming on which we are still consulting with stakeholders, including on grading, programming and retirement and rehoming programs.”

Mr Macaulay said the GRNSW Board had also resolved that the following strategic decisions in relation to the state’s track portfolio:

  1. That $18.3 million from the Greyhound Capital Grants Programme will be allocated across a range of projects at 20 TAB tracks, with the strategic goal of having every NSW racetrack meet defined standards around racing safety, animal welfare, and human occupational health and safety.
  2. That new straight tracks will be built at Wagga Wagga and Tamworth.
  3. That circle tracks at Goulburn and Wagga will be upgraded.
  4. That, with one exception, non-TAB racing will cease across NSW.
  5. That in addition to the construction projects set out in the GRNSW Track Safety & Welfare Strategy 2024 the following changes will be implemented on a regional basis:


  1. Explore options at both Cessnock and Redhead trial track venues to install on-site training pods, with trialling to continue at both venues. 


  1. Expand Broken Hill racing.


  1. Continue racing at both Casino and Grafton.
  2. Explore trialling options in the region.


  1. Close Young track.
  2. Cowra status quo of trial track only.
  3. Wagga Wagga and Temora status quo TAB racing.
  4. Build a straight track at Wagga Wagga, and redo the circle track.


  1. The new Taree track will conduct all racing in the region and both the Kempsey and Wauchope sites be utilized for trialling purposes, to at least 28 February 2027.


  1. Continue racing at Wentworth Park.
  2. Potts Park – trial track for the moment, but to explore options for a joint venture with the club.
  3. Status quo for racing at both Richmond circle and straight tracks.
  4. Status quo for Thirlmere to trial track. 



  1. Dubbo and Cudal status quo.
  2. Upgrade Lithgow to conduct TAB racing, ASAP.
  3. Coonamble to be closed permanently.
  4. Orange; support, and agree to provide 52 race dates, subject to:
    1. fully funded by others and constructed
    2. design and compliance meet GRNSW standards
    3. sustainable breeding numbers for industry > current level.


  1. Moree track closed.
  2. Existing Tamworth racetrack to be closed permanently. New straight track racing facility be established on greenfield site pursuant to current MOU in place between Tamworth GRC and GRNSW.
  3. Status quo for TAB racing in Gunnedah. 


  1. Status quo to remain at Gosford and explore options for ownership/long term lease of the site.


  1. To seek Council’s planning determination of the straight track proposal based on current terms and documentation.
  2. Remediate the circle track, including the possible addition of track lighting (STCA).


  1. Obtain DA approval for new site at Dapto.


At the same time, GRNSW has released for consultation a proposed new weekly race fixture timetable as follows:


“These decisions have not been taken lightly,” Mr Macaulay said. “They have been arrived at after careful consideration of industry needs, intersecting with GRNSW’s statutory obligations. In particular, the Board has had regard to GRNSW’s principal objectives:

  1. to be a commercially viable entity,
  2. to exhibit a sense of social responsibility by having regard to the welfare of greyhounds,
  3. to promote greyhound racing in the State as a competitive and sustainable industry with a high level of public trust.

“There are various clubs and groups that will consider themselves adversely, and perhaps even unfairly, effected by some of these decisions. Like many decisions in greyhound racing, there will be polarised opinions about these matters. However, there are good and compelling reasons for each of these decisions, and they will be implemented with careful and respectful consultation with clubs on transition periods.”



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