Industry thrives despite Covid impact

By Greyhounds Australasia’s CEO CHERIE NICHOLL

Covid continues to impact many in our industry as with most industries. It has caused significant disruption across the jurisdictions in terms of staff both at the controlling bodies as well as at the tracks around the country.

The jurisdictions are working with the health authorities in each state to ensure that the requirements in terms of vaccinations and check-ins are being adhered to. Everyone is doing their best however it can be frustrating, so I wanted to acknowledge the continued patience everyone is exhibiting as our industry continues to operate and thrive despite the challenges Covid presents.

As a national member organisation, fundamental to what GA does is consult across all the member organisations to ensure all views are captured and then we work with the subject matter experts

from the jurisdictions to develop strategies, plans and solutions that all the jurisdictions can support. That takes time as this work must be done in addition to the business-as-usual work that each

controlling body does to keep racing awhile ensuring the highest standards of integrity and animal care.

I am really proud of the work that has been done across the industry and the contribution so many have made from the jurisdictions, OTBAs, clubs and other stakeholders in the first exhaustive

Australasian Rules Review. There have been changes and updates to sections of the rules over the years, but never a complete review. No mean feat that is for sure, but with the support of the entire industry it is a true testament to what can be done as an industry when we all work together.

Not everyone will be 100% comfortable with every rule, however, we have worked hard to gain as much alignment as possible in the new rules. In some jurisdictions, the new GA National Rules will work in combination with local rules and your controlling bodies will communicate the changes.

Since the GA Board endorsed the new National Rules at the August Board meeting, the jurisdictions have been working to ensure that the local technology is updated to reflect the new rules. The new National Rules were endorsed to be adopted from January 31, 2022. Your local controlling body will update you as to when the new rules will be applied in your state.

Over the final months of 2021, GA undertook the first National Participant Survey. The objective of that work is to gain clarity around what makes participants want to stay in the industry, how we can attract more participants to the industry and continue our growth trajectory as well as understand what we can improve on. This entailed qualitative interviews with owners, breeders, and trainers to understand the key themes and then all participants were emailed a survey to complete.

I want to thank all those that completed the survey. We had over 1400 surveys sent back and the responses to those surveys are currently being reviewed to help us inform strategies for the coming

years to support industry sustainability. I know it took a little time to complete the survey so again, thank you to those of you that took the time. I will share some of the findings later in the year.

In the meantime, keep well and safe.

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