Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) will turn to the community of the Riverina for consultation around its new racing and multi-functional facility.
GRNSW Chief Executive Officer Mr Rob Macaulay has announced that concept designs have been completed for the upgraded racetrack, and the next stage of the process is community and stakeholder consultation before the project moves to the next phase.
“A lot of planning work has already been done for the upgrade of the facility in Wagga, and we now look forward to engaging with locals for input into what they would like the centre to be for the wider community,’ Mr Macaulay said.
“We will also naturally be working closely with the Show Society to ensure they have a significant say in what the facility will look like, and how it will be used.
“The site will not only be a racing venue with scope for significant community-based usage, it will be multi-functional with the potential for other sports to have use of the facility and we intend to speak with a number of prospective groups who have already shown interest.
“So now it is about engaging the local community and stakeholders to identify everything that can be done at the site for the best of all the community.”
Among the work to be conducted at Wagga will be the building of a new two turn circle track with larger radii, increased transitions and a Safe Chase lure, all for improved safety, and the venue will also be home to a new straight track, just the second of its kind in NSW.
Mr Macaulay said that importantly all heritage buildings on course will be retained.
Local MP, Dr Joe McGirr, the Member for Wagga Wagga, said that greyhound racing is “an important part of the local racing community”.
“The participants are really passionate about their sport and the welfare of their animals,” Dr McGirr said.
“I am very pleased to see immediate upgrades being installed at the Wagga Greyhound track but especially the recently account funding for a straight track. The primary concern for racing should be the safety and welfare of the greyhounds and I welcome these upgrades.
“I also acknowledge the consultation process that Greyhound Racing NSW has opened to the public and encourage the community to have their say.
“I look forward to Wagga Wagga being a centre for greyhound excellence and safety.”
The announcement of community consultation around the upgraded facility comes as a recent IER report, which scoped the entire NSW greyhound racing industry, has revealed that $14 million in value-added economic activity is generated annually by greyhound racing in the Riverina.
“The Riverina is a core region for our sport, with 577 roles occupied across breeders, owners, trainers, racing club and industry staff, volunteers and other deeply valued participants,” Mr Macaulay said.
“These are the locals in a community who invest in the towns across the Riverina, not to mention pay taxes and contribute to the State’s coffers – both directly and indirectly – to the tune of $14 million per annum.
“The flow on effects from the region’s greyhound industry touch a lot of other businesses in the community as well as providing livelihoods for many hard-working people.”