Report tarnishes reputation

The greyhound racing industry’s reputation has been “unfortunately tarnished”, according to Hector Caruana.

Caruana, manager of the Traralgon Greyhound Racing Club, said findings of a Victorian Ombudsman’s report into the administration of Greyhound Racing Victoria made certain issues seem “sinister” when they were nothing more than “silly acts”.

The report found GRV failed to comply with regulations governing the tender process for major building works by having an in-house architect, and only advertising for contractors in local areas.

“Over the last decade, the industry has spent about $50 million on new infrastructure,” Caruana said.

“During that time they’ve had one architect and just gone to tender for the contractors’ jobs.

“They also had to advertise across the state, but a lot of the time they were advertising in local areas, thinking they were doing the right thing by encouraging local businesses.”

Caruana said clubs were unlikely to be affected by the recommendations of the report, as it was aimed at GRV and its staff.

“The biggest impact for us is that with our planned renovations at Traralgon, they might be delayed slightly due to these new processes for the tender process,” he said.

“But nothing significant.”

Caruana spoke highly of GRV’s outgoing chief executive John Stephens, saying he was a “good operator” and it was a shame his exit from the role coincided with the release of the report’s findings.

The report also found irregularities with certain staff members breaching work place agreements by betting during work hours and in some instances, betting on greyhound races.

The Ombudsman also noted GRV had taken steps to rectify problems since Peter Caillard was appointed as chairman last year.