After four years as the NSW Government's minister responsible for Racing, Kevin Anderson believes greyhound racing is now in "the strongest position it has been in."
The industry has come a long way since Mr Anderson's appointment to the portfolio in April 2019, and regardless of the result of the March 25 election, the industry in NSW will always be appreciative of the support the minister and his government have had for greyhound racing in the state.
"We have been able to invest significantly into track facilities around the state in recent years, and the strong support of the NSW Government, and the minister for Racing Kevin Anderson, have made this possible," GRNSW CEO Rob Macaulay said.
As part of its reform of the greyhound racing industry, the NSW Government announced in 2018 a $30 million Capital Grants Program with the aim to improve animal welfare outcomes and to assist GRNSW and its clubs upgrade greyhound racetrack facilities to make them safer for greyhounds.
Like those in the industry, minister Anderson has repeatedly made it clear how important welfare is, stating that "a safe industry built around animal welfare is a prosperous industry and one that will continue to operate well into the future."
Since that announcement 21 tracks have undergone works through the Capital Grants Program, and additionally GRNSW have also fully funded works at other racetracks. "GRNSW is committed to constantly improving our tracks and being the leader of safety innovation and world's best practice in greyhound track design," Mr Macaulay said.
The scale of the works has varied from air conditioning of kennels to completed rebuild of racetracks, the most notable works being the new track at Grafton, the complete upgrade at Richmond, and the building of the first TAB straight track, again at Richmond.
"Greyhound racing is a way of life for many people in NSW, particularly in regional areas where the industry supports thousands of jobs," Mr Anderson said.
"The NSW Liberal and Nationals government has worked with the industry to ensure welfare standards are the best in the world, with prize money and participation at record highs. The NSW Government has also overseen the continued roll out of the $30 million capital grants to upgrade track facilities and make them safer for racing greyhounds.
"The greyhound industry is in the strongest position it has been in and the NSW Liberal and Nationals government remains committed to supporting the industry well into the future."
Mr Anderson has witnessed greyhound racing in NSW set new benchmarks across a wide range of categories. Rehoming has increased more than 176 per cent with GRNSW assisting in the rehoming of a record 2,014 greyhounds into pet life in 2022.
With the track-related upgrades and the best-practice methods and technologies over the past four years, GRNSW saw the rate of catastrophic injuries per 1,000 starts - a standard industry metric - fall to an all-time low of 0.5 last financial year, down from 1.2 when the minister was handed the racing portfolio.
And now participants have never raced for more prize money with over $46 million distributed throughout financial year 2021-'22.
This article was produced as part of an ACM partnership with Greyhound Racing NSW.
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