Despite a scandal that threatens to crush the greyhound racing industry across the country, locals have confidence it will survive and get stronger in the future.
After a public hearing inquiry into the greyhound racing industry, interim CEO of Greyhound Racing NSW, Paul Newson, said an entirely new leadership team has been appointed to work on a proactive reform process.
“The changes we have already made, combined with further policy changes to be announced in coming months, mean that the industry is well positioned to move forward,” he said.
General Manager of the Londonderry-based Richmond Race Club, Wayne Billett, said their race attendances have not been impacted since live baiting allegations surfaced in February.
“Our trading has still remained fairly consistent. This indicates to me that the community has confidence in processes that have now been implemented,” he said.
“The industry has made lots of changes and participants have adopted these and have moved on, and if they continue to do that, the confidence should remain.”
Veteran Londonderry dog trainer, Alan Proctor, has been racing dogs for 45 years, and knows his 20 racing dogs live in conditions possibly better than some people.
“Our dogs have blankets on their beds, have air conditioning in their kennels, ceiling fans and there is water recycling over the roof that cools the roof down,” he said.
“We have compliance officers coming to our property all the time to inspect the welfare of the dogs.”
Mr Proctor has no fears for the future of the industry.
“Breeding is down a little bit because people were uncertain of the industry, but greyhound racing is a great sport. People just have to come out and look at the industry,” he said.
“There’s more policing and strict policies, the industry will come out squeaky clean.”
A six-month extension has been given to Commissioner Michael McHugh to complete the Inquiry, to ensure his report that will be delivered in March 2016 leaves no stone unturned.