Back on the track

The region's Greyhound Racing Club has been in limbo since the sport was banned by the ACT Legislative Assembly.
The region's Greyhound Racing Club has been in limbo since the sport was banned by the ACT Legislative Assembly.

The NSW State Labor has committed to supporting greyhound racing in Queanbeyan, should it win the upcoming election, due to be held in 2019.

The ACT Legislative Assembly banned the sport following revealtions of animal cruelty in NSW.

The ban forced events across the border up to neighbouring Goulburn.

NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley, who has championed the cause of the greyhound industry, made the suprise announcement on 2GB’s Ray Hadley Morning Show.

Greyhound trainers from across southern New South Wales have approached Mr Foley about the idea of moving the greyhound industry to Queanbeyan.

In response to this suggestion Mr Foley said, “I’m absolutely committed to a future for those people. A track in or around Queanbeyan makes perfect sense to me.”

This is just the latest announcement in a longstanding tug of war between the NSW government and opposition.

NSW Deputy Premier and Member for Monaro John Barilaro previously committed to bringing greyhound racing to Queanbeyan by the end of 2018.

This promise looks entirely unlikely to be delivered in time for Christmas.

Mr Barilaro facilitated meetings between the then ACT-based club and Greyhound Racing NSW chairman Morris Iemma, which helped provide an interim solution to allow the club to race in Goulburn.

However, Mr Barilaro promised a track by the end of the 2018.

Mr Barilaro said "Building the training facility at the racecourse is our focus and we need to get that done… I would say by the end of the year that you have a race track built and ready to go.”

"That's the goal, that has to be it."

However, Queanbeyan Race Club administrator Brendan Comyn was less optimistic a facility could be built in 2018.

Mr Comyn said the race club provided a suitable site for a greyhound track considering there was usable land available that could be better utilised by welcoming the greyhounds back. Ultimately the decision whether to expand Queanbeyan would sit with Racing NSW.