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Greyhound racing "should remain" in Bathurst, says National Party candidate for Orange Tony Mileto

January 26, 2023

Greyhound Racing SA/Facebook.

By Peter Holmes

He is an Orange City councillor and the National Party's candidate for Orange in the March state election, but Tony Mileto believes Bathurst should be preferenced over Orange for greyhound racing.

Orange has been mentioned as a possible home for a new $15 million track and centre of excellence, but Mileto told The Orange News Examiner greyhound racing should ideally stay where it is.

He said he was aware that the Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association [GBOTA] was looking "at a few alternative sites".

"However I believe at this point of time, the greyhound track should remain at Bathurst's Kennerson Park," Mileto said.

"The Bathurst greyhound track has always been part of the fabric of the Bathurst community. It was extremely unfortunate that recent flooding severely damaged the track, resulting in it becoming not operational."

He said no information had been supplied to him about a move from Bathurst to Orange and, based on that, "I cannot and will not make a decision on the merits of a state of the art greyhound track and centre of excellence being located in Orange".

Seed funding and ongoing maintenance would be key issues, Mileto said: "Questions need to be asked and answered as to who would fund the entire project. Would Orange City Council - being the ratepayers of Orange - be required to commit any additional funds to the project?

"Who would be responsible for the ongoing operational cost of the facility? Also, what impact would this facility have on rates in Orange? Would there then need to be an increase in council rates?"

Mileto said that a $15 million state of the art greyhound track and centre of excellence "would be attractive for any council, [but] I personally believe that Bathurst Council should be given first option of repairing the track to a standard that meets the greyhound industry and community expectations".

Should Bathurst Council choose not to repair their greyhound track, or not be in a position to offer other locations for a new track within the Bathurst Local Government Area, Mileto said, "I would then support further discussions taking place with Orange City Council".

He described suggestions that Orange should be the new home of greyhound racing in these parts as "pre-emptive".

"There has been no discussion, briefings or consultation taken place between Orange City Council [OCC] and its councillors regarding this issue."

The sitting MP for Orange, Phil Donato, who is now an independent after quitting the Shooters, Fishers & Farmers party late last year, met with the Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association on January 18.

He wrote on social media: "GBOTA are looking at spending over $15 million in building and creating a Greyhound Racing Centre of Excellence, the first in NSW, right here in the Central West.

"It would be great to get this facility in Orange - and I know it’s on their short list. It would create jobs, both in the constructions and ongoing phase, will support local business and supply chains and provide a world class facility for both the greyhound participants and local community - as well as returning greyhound racing to Orange."

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