Today, thanks to the kind invitation from the Racing Minister, The Hon. Stirling Hinchcliffe, I was able to attend the Governments “industry Forum” meeting at parliament house.
There was a diverse range of participants gathered, with representatives from RQ, QRIC and the codes speaking to the invitees.
The main theme behind the forum, (my understanding only) was industry reform, and the need to drive reform from all clubs, to be self sufficient, and less reliant on Government monies going forward.
Each code had someone speak for them, and our code was ably represented in this area by Mr. Luke Gatehouse.
Luke spoke passionately for our code, and pulled no punches with RQ and Government.
Luke delivered a very professional presentation which clearly, and passionately, displayed for all to see, the unfairness of the current model. The unfair distribution of turnover, cross subsidisation from our code, broken promises and lack of infrastructure spending on greyhounds were all highlighted. Everyone can form their own opinions, but for mine, Mr. Gatehouse is a great ambassador for our code.
There was no fair minded person in that room, that could disagree that our code has been treated poorly, to put it mildly.
My take on the meeting though, is that although we have many differences, many of our goals are the same. At least on the table I was sitting at, there seemed to be a willingness for the codes to interact more in planning etc.
The general consensus seemed to be, that it was a refreshing start to get everyone together. Although not all elephants in the room were addressed, it might be beneficial to meet again.
Greyhound representatives in attendance were: Les Bein, Dale Cartwright, John Catton, George Evans and Casey Dargusch. As we were all on separate tables, they might have a different take on the meeting. I am sure, if you are interested, they will have no problem discussing their views.
Who knows, maybe this could be the start of ” Racing As One!”
Or maybe I’m just being optimistic.