Bid for one-turn greyhound track given a lift
DON'T forget us.
That is the message from Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club manager Merv Page to Racing Minister Grace Grace after the $13 million injection into Ipswich Turf Club did not include a relocation of the greyhounds to the interior of the track.
That plan was in the pipeline previously but it now seems more likely that a new greyhound track in the Ipswich area is the best chance the local club has for a relocation.
But Page remained optimistic that the Racing Minister and Racing Queensland would deliver for greyhounds in Ipswich.
"I'd like to see a one-turn track somewhere in the Ipswich area," he said.
"Racing Queensland still tell us they are going to give us a track so we have to hope they are telling the truth.
"A lot of our facilities are getting dilapidated so we need one in the near future.
"We are sick of the third-world kennel block we've got. There are no parking areas and the walkways are dilapidated."
Ms Grace said the Ipswich club could take advantage of an opportunity that was now open.
"Racing Queensland has put out for an expression of interest from interested parties for two new state-of-the-art, world class and built on welfare issues (tracks) from Ipswich to the Gold Coast sort of area," she said.
"So the expression of interest is out to see what clubs are interested in doing...and the type of ventures that can be put together for the greyhound industry.
"Racing Queensland has earmarked that as a priority infrastructure project."
Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard said that "a greyhound facility needs to happen in the western corridor along the line".
"If an opportunity arises for my electorate I will be supporting it," she said.
Ms Grace said she was keen to work with local government and she would be interested to know what the Ipswich City Council's plans were.
The Ipswich track is two-turn but Page said a one-turn track was vital.
"We need a one-turn track for the safety of dogs and animal welfare now," Mr Page said.
"You've got to look after the dogs and the people.
"But the greyhound trainers always look after their dogs. They put their dogs before themselves."
Page said he was not surprised a new track in the Ipswich Turf Club's infield did not eventuate.
"There are concerns about flood waters and mines so I can see their point there," he said.
"Let's face it a lot of that area is undermined."
Page said the industry was jack of all the funds being spent on the gallops.
"But nothing for dogs," he said.
"I am confident though that Racing Queensland will give us another track."