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Minister must step in to fix greyhound racing division

The Andrews Labor Government must step in to resolve a dispute between disgruntled Victorian greyhound owners and breeders and Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) that threatens to spill over in coming days with boycott action planned for this weekend.

It comes as industry participants feel they have been abandoned by the Government and GRV.

Questioned in a Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) hearing, Racing Minister Martin Pakula completely dismissed the groundswell of concerns raised by industry participants and fully backed GRV.

Owners and trainers say they are fed up with Greyhound Racing Victoria’s (GRV) lack of action on track safety improvements, prizemoney reductions per race held and unfair treatment around cross contaminants.

As a result they plan to boycott this Saturday’s meeting at the Meadows, Cranbourne and Ballarat and early indications from nominations indicate the action has strong support.

Shadow Minister for Racing Tim Bull said in discussions with the Greyhound Owners, Trainers and Breeders Association (GOTBA), revealed they felt ignored and believed they had no alternative than to have this type of action as a last resort.

“What is most concerning is the Minister’s dismissive attitude to these concerns. This is not just one of two people, there are many taking part – from major to smaller industry participants – who are disenchanted.

“The Minister has a responsibility to step in and mediate a way forward, not sit back and take sides, ignoring the grassroots people,” Mr Bull said.

“Unless resolved before the weekend, it’s clear there’ll be an industry-wide boycott.

“Our owners, trainers and breeders are the lifeblood of this industry and must be respected and listened to. These are the people who put on the show, without them there is no greyhound sector.”

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