A Welcome From GRNSW CEO Tony Mestrov
Welcome to the first of what will be regular stakeholder updates from me in my new role as GRNSW Chief Executive.
I have only been in my new role for a week, but already I have encountered a range of passionate and committed stakeholders who want to see greyhound racing succeed as a vibrant and sustainable industry in NSW by having regard to the welfare of greyhounds.
One of the common questions I have been asked in this first week was why I was attracted to the role of GRNSW Chief Executive.
Obviously, the challenge the role presented was one aspect that attracted me. But an even bigger attraction was the enormous opportunity NSW greyhound racing has to not only reinvent itself but to also become an integral part of the NSW sporting and community landscape.
With the support of the new GRNSW Board, led by Chairman the Hon. Morris Iemma, and new Deputy CEO Dayle Brown and the GRNSW team, I want to make greyhound racing a sport that engages with all stakeholders.
An industry that can deliver memorable moments and positive returns to the people involved, an industry that can attest to the highest standards of animal welfare and care in any racing code, and an industry that is engaging and that can not only attract new participants, but also a new generation of fans and new corporate partners.
I want to achieve this through exploring exciting commercial opportunities, being innovative and testing new ideas that have the potential to diversify the industry’s revenue streams to allow the sport to become more sustainable.
I also want GRNSW to do more to highlight and promote the great people involved in the NSW greyhound racing industry. To date, this industry has been far too insular from the rest of the NSW community. This has prevented the sport from growing and has unfairly tarnished the good people in the sport and limited their ability to succeed and become promoters of the sport themselves.
As such, I plan on GRNSW being far more proactive in the community, and promote the NSW greyhound industry as a competitive and sustainable industry with a high level of public trust.
While driving to improve the commercial output and improving returns to the NSW greyhound racing industry, I can also assure you that GRNSW will not shirk from its commitment to help drive the significant animal welfare and regulatory reform that is necessary and currently underway.
As many would be aware, the establishment of the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission and the transfer of regulatory and welfare functions from GRNSW is due to occur over the coming months. Three commissioners have already been appointed and recruitment for senior executive positions to be located at Bathurst is underway.
GRNSW will do all it can to ensure this transfer occurs as seamlessly and effectively as possible for industry participants. Once the commission is fully established, GRNSW will not only work closely with the commission in assisting its work in supervising the industry, but also do all it can to improve animal welfare outcomes.
This includes GRNSW making drastic improvements to the capacity and performance of the Greyhounds As Pets re-homing program, allowing participants to develop new skills that will assist them in the care and training of their greyhounds, and continuing initiatives aimed at improving track safety and reducing racing related injuries.
Over the coming months - as part of my goal to open up communication channels with all stakeholders - myself and Dayle Brown intend to visit locations around NSW to engage in meaningful discussion with as many diverse stakeholders as possible.
I am sure there are many people who have great ideas of their own, which can help improve the NSW greyhound racing industry and make it more prosperous.
I cannot wait to hear these ideas and I am really excited about what the immediate future holds.
Chief Executive Officer
Greyhound Racing NSW