Greyhounds Transition Taskforce Coordinator General Dr John Keniry AM visited Taree on Thursday to hear from the industry and to inform a transition package he is developing for government.
Dr Keniry was appointed by the NSW government last month to work with the greyhound racing industry to ensure a humane and orderly transition to cease racing on July 1 next year.
Dr Keniry said the government had committed to a raft of measures, including financial assistance, and other issues would be open for discussion with the industry.
“Since my appointment, I have had many conversations with people working directly or indirectly in the greyhound industry about the challenges they are facing due to the closure of greyhound racing on July 1, 2017,” Dr Keniry said.
“Taree is one of several regional centres I will visit over the next month as part of the consultation process to inform a detailed plan for the government on the best way to transition people and their greyhounds to the closure.
“As well as offering financial assistance to transition dogs and people out of the greyhound industry, other government and non-government support services will be provided, such as training programs and business advice.
“The legislation that has now passed parliament also allows for transition periods for other aspects of the industry, such as training, breeding and keeping greyhounds.
“I am keen to hear from people working in the industry on the best way to achieve these things before I report back to government in late September. The government will then decide what assistance to provide to people affected by the closure. This is expected to be announced later this year.”
Dr Keniry said he appreciated the difficult circumstances people working in the industry were facing and their mental health was taken very seriously.
“The taskforce has now set up a dedicated phone line run by trained counsellors to answer questions about the transition, and provide free confidential counselling for people feeling distressed about the closure.”
To seek help and advice, please call 1800 812 115.
Those wishing to have their say on the transition arrangements can complete a short online survey at www.greyhounds.justice.nsw.gov.au