'No place’ for proposed greyhound racing precinct in Tweed
A GREYHOUND rescue founder says locals were "sickened and dismayed" by a proposed new racing precinct planned for the Tweed Coast.
Friends of the Hound Inc founder Lisa White said there was already support from locals who were opposed to the track.
Ms White said the proposed development on the flood plains at Chinderah would result in the injury and death of greyhounds.
"Running eight dogs at top speed around a track with turns, inevitably results in collisions and often catastrophic injuries," Ms White said.
"There have been 139 track-related deaths in Australia this year, with over 6200 injuries.
"Despite claiming animal welfare as a priority, the Greyhound industry continues to use circular tracks and field eight dogs per race, instead of six, ignoring simple measures that could minimise the harm." Greyhounds battling own coronavirus strain in South East Queensland
It comes after Tweed Heads Coursing Club bought a 32ha parcel of land for $2 million last month.
Secretary Stephen McGrath said plans were underway to build "Australia's biggest greyhound racing precinct".
Mr McGrath said it would be the biggest and safest in the country.
However, Ms White said the development would detract from the character and attraction of the region which was renowned for its natural beauty.
She said the industry promoted greyhound racing as a family-friendly activity but was far from it.
"Witnessing a sprinting dog somersault in the air and smash to the ground, screaming in agony, or limping around the track with a dangling broken leg, is not family fun."
A Tweed Shire Council spokesman confirmed the club had bought the land but had not yet received a development application.
"Council officers have not had discussions with Greyhound Racing NSW, however the local club has advised the general manager that they have acquired land for this purpose at Chinderah and will be engaging relevant planning consultants to progress an application," he said.
A punter's dream.
Plans for what is being touted as "Australia's biggest greyhound racing precinct'' are underway just south of the border.
The Tweed Heads Coursing Club bought a 32ha parcel of land at Chinderah for $2 million last month and is set to meet next week to start designing a master plan.
Secretary Stephen McGrath said the racing precinct would be the biggest and safest in the country.
"It will be a centre of excellence," Mr McGrath said.
"Under NSW Greyhound Racing, a centre of excellence includes a straight track, a circle track and a greyhound rehoming program.
"It will have the most modern and safest equipment you can buy."
Purchase of the land came almost four years after the club sold Border Park at Tweed Heads for $15 million to Gold Coast Airport.
Mr McGrath said the club had been investigating land "everywhere" but until recently, had not found a suitable plot.
"You can't get prime real estate to build a greyhound facility at a reasonable price," he said.
"You just have to find the best possible fit you can. "The racing precinct will be 13ha, which will allow us to have other training facilities.
"We could open up for spelling race horses and an off-lead dog park and many other things could be available."
Asked whether the club could face resistance from Tweed Shire Council, Mr McGrath said he "only built the facility".
"We don't control the policies,'' he said.
"We will work through those barriers and hope we don't waste a significant amount of money that doesn't need to be wasted.
"During the current climate, they should be looking at anyone with money to invest in the community.
"It will create a lot of jobs. We will have two meetings a week which will be streamed live on Sky (Racing).
"Tweed will be seen by people all over the country and around the world."
Originally published as Coast locals 'sickened' by proposed new development