KEMPSEY greyhound trainer Nathan Goodwin summed up the decision to overturn the greyhound ban in just three words – sanity has prevailed.
New South Wales premier Mike Baird’s ban backflip on Tuesday will mean Goodwin can stay in the area after there was a real possibility the 38-year-old would have to relocate interstate.
“We can now re-establish our business although unfortunately the uncertainty put us a fair bit behind,” Goodwin said.
Goodwin contemplated moving to either South Australia or Queensland to continue training greyhounds, but now he doesn’t have to.
“Finally we have some direction, a future and we do look like we’re going to be okay and we can continue on,” he said.
However, restrictions are now increasingly likely to be placed on the industry.
These include the possibility of levies being placed on any pups that are born and Goodwin doesn’t feel these restrictions are the answer.
“I don’t think levies will work because it’s very expensive to breed a litter and I don’t know where the money would go,” he said.
“To breed a litter of pups now from birth to the race track costs about $5000 per dog.”
Along with possible levies on pups born, there is talk of racetrack numbers being halved.
It remains unknown how the industry will determine which tracks stay and which ones go.
“That’s the elephant in the room isn’t it,” Goodwin said.
“I think it’s inevitable that some race tracks are going to go, but what they will try and do is centralise race tracks.
“Say for instance there’s three tracks on the Mid-North Coast at Kempsey, Taree and Wauchope, I think they’ll look to bring that back to one or two tracks in the area.”
Tracks that remained would then likely need to push for TAB coverage to justify their existence.
“That way they’re not just becoming a track where they pump money into them for no return and if the tracks in NSW are given that opportunity (of coverage) I think that would be a step in the right direction,” Goodwin said.
“If there are less tracks, the tracks that are left have to race twice a week to accommodate the dogs.
“There are too many dogs not getting a start week to week and if that continues to happen for any length of time participants will lose a bit of interest and I think that’s not the best thing to happen.”
Goodwin felt the New South Wales greyhound industry should use how other states have improved the industry as a template for the future.
“Queensland and Victoria are now prospering since the live baiting scandal and the reforms have seen those tracks go ahead in leaps and bounds and we can do the same here.”