top of page

Council "declines offer" for Orange greyhound track, but talks ongoing

October 17, 2023



By David Fitzsimons


The future of a $15 million greyhound racing complex in Orange has been thrown into doubt after a proposal by the greyhounds’ association to Orange City Council was knocked back on Tuesday night.


After an extensive debate behind closed doors council resolved to “decline an offer” from the NSW Greyhound Breeders Owners and Trainers Association.


However council agreed to authorise CEO David Waddell to open negotiations with the GBOTA on the future of the project.


Orange and Bathurst councils are competing to win the greyhound bid, described as a “centre of excellence”.


The Orange plan would have seen the greyhound track located at the former trotting track complex on the eastern edge of town.


Earlier in the night NSW GBOTA interim CEO Daniel Weizman told council the project would see 52 meetings a year televised nationally and internationally.


“We believe that this is a strong project that would inject $20 million a year into the Central West economy,” he said.


Weizman said it would create 20 jobs onsite and more in the construction process.


He said it would include a new track, a restaurant, cafes, a veterinary clinic, a greyhound rehoming facility and a function centre for public use for weddings, receptions and other events.


Weizman said it would also boost accommodation demand in Orange from visiting dog owners and trainers.


However, the council was also told public support for greyhound racing was waning due to issues including dogs being injured while racing and the sport’s encouragement of gambling.


The head of research for the Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds, Harry Rothenfluh, said the group had commissioned a study which showed many people wanted greyhound racing to be banned or phased out.


“Only 34 per cent support it remaining legal,” he said.


“Whatever investment you (council) make it’s not going to be for the long term because it’s on its way out. There are very few countries that still allow it.”


He said it was likely people attending dog racing in Orange would see greyhounds being injured.


Rothenfluh also said it was “a pity” council was making its decision behind closed doors.


Comments


bottom of page