An independent study into Greyhound Racing Victoria showed it contributed $406.8 million to the state’s economy in the 2015-16 financial year, including $13.1 million in the Goulburn Valley region alone.
Shepparton Greyhound Racing club manager Carl McGrath has welcomed the outcome of the study, particularly the statistics showing greyhound racing provided $7.35 million in household income for about 98 full-time positions in the Goulburn Valley region.
The Size and Scope of the Victorian Greyhound Racing Industry study, released on June 2, aimed to quantify the economic, employment and social contribution of the industry.
It was done towards the end of a two-year period of reform changes to GRV and in the midst of the live-baiting scandal exposed in NSW greyhound racing.
Mr McGrath said it outlined how much the industry was part of the community both socially and from an economic point of view.
‘‘It’s great having an independent report and it just demonstrates how much a part of the community we are,’’ he said.
‘‘Like any industry there are many other services involved. With caterers for the venue, vets, tradespeople and more all needed for greyhound racing, it all rolls on.
‘‘The study is based on the 2015-16 financial year and is part of being a professional organisation. We know we do a lot for the economy and this study shows it in and black and white. People can see just how big it is to regional Victoria and Victoria in general.’’
Mr McGrath said greyhound racing started in Shepparton in 1973 at the old showgrounds and 11 years ago it moved to its current location, where it has grown every year and become more popular.
‘‘We employ many full-time and permanent part-time staff for race days and we have about 110 race at the venue each year,’’ he said.
‘‘We do a lot of stuff that doesn’t go into this report as well with regular charity days for local causes such as World Wide Challenge, Relay For Life, for local fire brigades.
‘‘We are always looking at trying to support local groups and have our next major fundraiser for the Blue Ribbon Foundation later this year.’’
GRV chairman Bernie Carolan said the industry would continue to grow and change.
‘‘Which is why we need a comprehensive picture of where it is now, so we can plan, meet the needs of the community and build a sustainable and vibrant future for greyhound racing in Victoria in the future,’’ Mr Carolan said.