NSW Trainers Association Achievements For 2014/15

Better Cashflow and a better deal for NSW Trainers through:

  •  Better cash flow with a new Trainer/Owner payment agreement, less bad debts, with the new system scheduled to start in 2015.
  •  A new low cost dispute resolution system so that owners pay their bills to trainers sooner scheduled to start this season. This would enable racing NSW to penalise owners who don’t pay their bills from being able to keep racing.
  •  Debt collection help. NSWTA chased bad debts by providing a legal claim letter. We also established various partnerships to assist trainers administration systems.
  •  Developed and lobbied for a new ‘Cancellation policy” increasing compensation from $200 to up to $600 when a race meeting is cancelled at short notice.
  •  Reduced Workers Compensation costs. Trainer’s costs have been cut by up $200 this season. Last season premiums for NSW trainers were reduced on average by 23%. This is a much needed reduction in costs.  This is partly due to a reduction of the per horse rate from $52 to $40.
  •  Approximately 70% of trainers that were required to hold a workers compensation policy prior to 2013/14 received a reduction in their premium.
  •  1.5% Stable hands payment expanded to now include more employees including those with trainers with lower total annual wages who previously missed out.
  •  Successfully lobbied to have The Championship race series expanded to include specific events for Country and Provincial trainers.
  •  NSW Trainers now have the best insurance package in the Country compared with other states. Additional benefits include:
    – Capital Benefit for Death or Permanent Disability increase from $50,000 to $100,000
    – NEW Hendra Illness cover – $50,000 lump sum on confirmed diagnosis
    – Care, custody and control (inc horses) cover increase from $5 million to $20 million
  •  NSW Trainers have the best insurance package in the Country compared with other states. NSW Trainers have received a better deal with a cash rebate, improved insurance policies, comparatively reduced costs, special discounts and better cover.
  •  Successfully fought to reduced the cost of trials on the Pro-Ride at Warwick Farm from $220 to $160+GST.  We felt that it wasn’t fair for the ATC to charge the same to trial on a synthetic surface that just isn’t the same as trialing on the grass.
  •  Successfully fought to have to have some scratching fees, track fees and associated costs removed although there is more work to be done here.

Fighting for Better tracks and improved infrastructure through:

  •  Better tracks and improved infrastructure, although there’s a lot more to do here.
  •  Fighting for real industry representation and common sense racing policies like changes to Benchmarking, handicapping and programming and fighting against unnecessary rule changes.
  •  Successfully pressured Racing NSW to allocate more than 2/3rds of Race fields accumulated funds ($100million) towards improving TRAINING tracks facilities from July 2012, rather than committee rooms and grand stands.
  •  NSWTA CEO and Trainers met with the new Racing Minister Hon Troy Grant, Opposition Leader and Shadow Racing Minister Hon Luke Foley and several local MPs pushing for more funds to be spent on tracks and training facilities.
  •  The NSWTA is constantly lobbying for Infrastructure improvements:
  •  Funds received at Randwick, Rosehill, Bathurst, Goulburn, Hawkesbury, Newcastle, Kembla Grange, Muswellbrook, Scone, Tamworth, Port Macquarie, Tuncurry Forster, Wyong, Coffs Harbour, Wagga and Gosford.
  •  NSWTA still pursuing funds and further action for Ballina, Albury, Taree, Gulgong, Orange, Dubbo, Warwick Farm, Kembla Grange and Hawkesbury and more.

Fighting for real industry representation and common sense racing policies through:

  •  NSWTA leading the way to have ‘Industry representation’ on the board of Racing NSW seeking the NSW Government to amend the Thoroughbred Racing Act NSW. (The Act that governs Racing) Only then can we have a real say in the running of racing in NSW.
  •  NSWTA Chief Executive appointed Chairman of the Racing Industry Consultative Group that gives trainers a greater say in Racing matters including being on the selection panel to appoint future Directors of Racing NSW.
  •  Benchmarking and Handicapping – after consultations across NSW further representations were made to Racing NSW seeking a better handicapping system. An announcement is expected in 2015 but it’s a constant work in progress.
  •  Working with Vets and Racing NSW to ensure that NSW trainers are not unfairly disadvantaged with any new ‘licensing’ regime.
  •  Successfully fought for a common sense approach to Drug and Alcohol policies after dealing with the Australian Racing Board.
  •  Drugs in racing– The NSWTA has been advocating for transparency, consistent protocols, a level playing field for all and better information for trainers.
  •  Successfully lobbied for changes that benefit NSW Trainers when the Australian Racing Board sought to bring in unnecessary rule changes. Eg: Steroids, Stand Down powers, alcohol policy.
  •  Better barrier attendants. Whilst they still need more pay and we need teams of professionally trained barrier attendants, Racing NSW has now committed to start professional training of barrier attendants across NSW.
  •  Supported trainers across NSW in their negotiations and dealings with race clubs.
  •  Supporting Country trainers through lobbying for increased prize money, better tracks, more racing, reduced costs, special ‘Country/Provincial’ only races in ‘The Championships’ and other times as appropriate.
  •  Better strategic partnerships allowing the NSWTA to give NSW trainers a real voice in our own industry.

Helping Trainers, their family and staff through:

  •  Better Trainer welfare – with a new welfare fund and the establishment of a specialised confidential free Counsellor to work specifically with NSW trainers, staff and family. 1300 88 77 24 (free call)
  •  The new Trainers and staff welfare fund that has already helped many in need and we are working on new projects to support trainers.

Helping NSW trainers with the law and industrial relations through:

  •  Frequent pay, award and superannuation advice provided via the ‘trainers lounge’ at www.homeofracing.com.au
  •  Frequent updates of all Stewards news, ARB updates and more at the ‘trainers lounge’ at www.homeofracing.com.au
  •  A free website for all NSWTA members
  •  www.homeofracing.com.au continued to grow. An exciting new trainers website that will help trainers earn additional income, raise your profile, create your own personalised website for free and much much more.
  •  Daily representations on behalf of over 1000 trainers by the NSWTA to Racing NSW, race clubs, NSW Government, local councils and other associated bodies in relation to many diverse racing and finance matters.
  •  Daily assistance provided to trainers in relation to industrial relations, pay rates, workers compensation insurance queries, racing rules and administration.

Some of the challenges for 2015/16 will include:

  •  Implementing the new cash flow and debt recovery system
  •  Improving benchmarking, programming and handicapping across NSW
  •  Seeing real improvements to tracks and training facilities across NSW, particularly in Country and Provincial NSW
  •  Reducing the costs of Racing and encouraging more owners to help NSW trainers survive

Steve McMahon
Chief Executive
NSW Trainers Association