Emergency Meeting To Halt Further Strike Action

THE board of Greyhound Racing Victoria will hold an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss prize money increases for the 2021/22 racing season.

Adam Dobbin

26 August 2021

THE board of Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) will hold an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss significant prizemoney increases for the 2021/22 racing season.

On Wednesday, representatives from both GRV and the Victorian Greyhound, Owners, Breeders & Trainers’ Association (GOTBA) held an eleventh-hour meeting in the hope of finding common ground after recent mediation efforts between the parties failed to reach a compromise.

Following the failed mediation, the GOTBA flagged further ‘strike’ action was possible after the initial action resulted in trainers not nominating for meetings on July 3 at The Meadows, Cranbourne and Ballarat.

All three meetings were abandoned.

Strike to halt Victorian greyhound racing

In a ray of positivity for Victorian participants, on Thursday, the parties released a joint statement, suggesting that a resolution following Friday’s impromptu board meeting was a real possibility.

“Following a meeting with the GOTBA a substantial additional FY22 (Financial Year) prize money increase will be considered at a dedicated GRV Board meeting tomorrow (Friday) and announced tomorrow afternoon,” GRV Chair Peita Duncan said.

“GRV will follow this decision with a comprehensive consultation process with all participants, clubs and other stakeholders to help determine what the prize money package will look like. GOTBA has indicated it prefers any increase be first applied to an unplaced runner fee, to assist all levels in covering increased costs.

“This announcement highlights the importance of all parties working together with goodwill and respect to ensure we are focused on the best interests of all participants.”

Recent mediation between the two parties was aimed at finding resolution on key industry issues including prize money, track maintenance, cross-contamination (regarding swabbing) and participant treatment.

GOTBA President Lynton Hogan said his Association was delighted by Wednesday’s fruitful meeting and is looking forward to some favourable outcomes on Friday.

“GRV has today demonstrated to us that it will focus on the issue of participant returns, and we commend it for doing so,” Hogan said. 

“While the amount of the prize money increase has not yet been formally decided, we look forward to a positive announcement by the Board and ongoing FY21-22 focus on the issue. 

“Assuming that a substantial step forward is taken by the Board, the GOTBA is willing to move forward on other areas we have highlighted, and we anticipate more joint GRV-GOTBA Vic announcements soon.”