Green light – for now

IT’S all systems go for Taree Greyhound Club now following the State government’s decision to revoke the ban on greyhound racing in NSW, as announced earlier this week.

However, Taree president Des McGeachie said the club may face another battle for survival.

He has yet to hear any details on the closure of tracks in the State as outlined this week when it was announced the ban would be overturned. The government also said some tracks will be sold.

Before the ban was announced there had been speculation that one or two of the Lower North Coast clubs – Taree, Wauchope and Kempsey could be closed in a rationalisation of the industry in NSW. 

However, a spokesman for the NSW Greyhound Alliance said this week that no details were set on possible track closures or a reduction in meetings at a meeting held this week with Deputy Premier Troy Grant.

There had previously been a recommendation to reduce the number of tracks in NSW from 34 to 13.

“But that was based on the Victorian model,’’ Mr McGeachie said.

“That works okay in Victoria, but in NSW there’s too vast an area to be covered and 13 tracks wouldn’t be enough.’’

He explained there is a further concept of ‘hub’ tracks, where, for example Taree could be a main (or hub) track, with either Wauchope or Kempsey as the support.

However, Mr McGeachie said there has been no further discussion on these matters since the greyhound ban was announced in July.

“Now all we can do is carry on as usual and see what eventuates,’’ he said.

Mr McGeachie revealed that federal Member for Lyne, Dr David Gillespie attended last Saturday’s meeting at Kanangra Drive.

“He said he wanted to see for himself what happens here and form his own opinion,’’ Mr McGeachie said.

“He told me later ‘you don’t look like you’re struggling.’ ‘’

In a further development Member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead has instigated a meeting with Mr McGeachie and members of his committee at Mr Bromhead’s Taree office on Sunday.

Mr Bromhead publicly backed the ban and was also criticised for not attending a meeting held at Taree soon after the ban was announced. He later met with club and industry representatives, although this was labelled by Mr McGeachie as ‘lip service.’ Mr McGeachie said his committee will go into Sunday’s meeting with an open mind.

Taree Greyhound Club president Des McGeachie at last Saturday's meeting at Kanangra Drive.

Taree Greyhound Club president Des McGeachie at last Saturday's meeting at Kanangra Drive.

Racing at Taree.

Racing at Taree.