The development of new planning provisions covering greyhound facilities across the State is now well advanced and the next stage will involve public comment on the draft provisions in June.
All Victoria’s local government planning schemes include provisions affecting the use and development of land for greyhound facilities. While some provisions are consistent across the State, some councils have specified local provisions. There is also limited local government expertise in assessing planning permit applications for greyhound facilities.
Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV Chair), Bernie Carolan, said GRV supported the introduction of a statewide planning framework for greyhound facilities.
“Such a framework will provide consistency in balancing opportunities for new investment in the sport with animal welfare and local amenity concerns,” Mr Carolan said.
The draft planning provisions build on the work of a Government working group established in 2013 to develop consistent statewide planning provisions for racing dog facilities. The draft provisions include standardised benchmarks for greyhound premises including greyhound density, setback distances for the facilities, kennel requirements, landscaping, fencing/screening and noise and waste management.
The development of the new planning provisions is being overseen by a cross-government Greyhound Racing and Welfare Reform Implementation Task Force, to ensure that they are consistent with a proposed new animal welfare code of practice.
The Task Force was set up to oversee the implementation of recommendations made by the Racing Integrity Commissioner and Chief Veterinary Officer in June 2015 including the need for all greyhound establishments be covered by one industry-specific code of practice that reflects community expectations and industry best practice.