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  • Wednesday, 14 Feb, 2024,
  • by Damien Ractliffe

GRV releases infrastructure discussion paper

Greyhound Racing Victoria has today published a discussion paper seeking industry feedback, aimed to drive informed decision making on the sport’s future infrastructure requirements.

The Victorian Greyhound Racing Assets & Infrastructure Discussion Paper explores the current footprint of racetracks and training facilities in the state, and what the future needs of the sport might be beyond the next decade.

The Victorian Greyhound Racing Industry conducts approximately 15,000 races annually at around 1250 race meetings conducted across 13 registered clubs and racetracks throughout Victoria (excluding coursing tracks and events).

Given circumstances may change in the future, flexibility will always be required to ensure the delivery of the best outcomes for the Victorian greyhound racing industry.

This paper has been prepared for consultation purposes and GRV will consider all feedback received from stakeholders, before completing a final 10-year Victorian Greyhound Racing Industry Infrastructure Plan.

The scope of this discussion paper includes racing and training requirements at registered Victorian greyhound racing clubs and does not include coursing tracks or private properties. Continuously improving safety and welfare for competing greyhounds, club and GRV staff and industry participants, to the extent practicable, are key factors to be considered in the development of the plan.

Infrastructure discussion paper seminar

GRV will host a seminar in Ballarat later this month aimed to drive informed decision making on the sport’s future infrastructure requirements.

The seminar comes in response to the Victorian Greyhound Racing Assets & Infrastructure Discussion Paper which was recently published by GRV.

The discussion paper explores the current footprint of racetracks and training facilities in the state, and what the future needs of the sport might be beyond the next decade.

Where: Ballarat Greyhound Racing Club

When: 6.30pm, Tuesday April 23

What: An opportunity to find out more and ask questions about the footprint of Victoria’s greyhound racing tracks and training facilities, and help shape the ideas and decisions for the future. Those who can’t make it, GRV will run another seminar at Warragul in May.

Over the next 5-10 years, GRV is proposing to base the racing assets and infrastructure plan on a number of key objectives and actions that take into consideration future needs regarding:

  • breeding and greyhound population trends;
  • racing safety and greyhound welfare;
  • the future racing calendar and program;
  • racing program structure and types of races conducted;
  • the future for racing at metropolitan and regional tracks;
  • the status and age of current racing and training facilities;
  • trainer and greyhound geographic location; and
  • training, education and greyhound welfare facilities

Futureproofing the industry

In addition to retaining the existing country racetrack network and continuously improving the facilities and services at those venues, GRV proposes, in conjunction with clubs, to identify options:

  • For a potential greenfield site in the Southeast area with long-term capacity to accommodate a one-turn track and straight track racing and trialling and additional training facilities;
  • For at least one additional straight track for training and/or racing to be located at an existing club or greenfield site;
  • At the two metropolitan tracks to maximise the use of these valuable assets from a racing and training perspective, including alternative safer track configuration, additional training, greyhound care and veterinary facilities;
  • Improve the provision of trial kennel facilities, progressively upgrade current track lighting to LED to enable more night and twilight racing and improve lure and rail systems from a safety perspective.

The paper proposes that premier level 1 metropolitan racing will continue to be conducted twice weekly between The Meadows and Sandown Park predominantly on Thursday and Saturday nights.

GRV will work with both metropolitan clubs to develop and assess master planning options for each of the sites, including assessing options for alternative track designs.

GRV will also work with both clubs in assessing long-term options as to the feasibility of whether relocation to a new site could potentially unlock valuable assets for reinvestment, which could underpin the next 25-30 years’ worth of industry needs.

Submissions

GRV is inviting written submissions from all interested parties wishing to have their views considered.

Written submissions are to be emailed to [email protected] by 31 March 2024, or you can fill in the contact form at the bottom of this page.

GRV will consider all submissions in combination with other research and consultation that will be conducted in parallel to this consultation process.

GRV proposes to publish the finalised Infrastructure Plan by the end of 2024.

Quotes attributable to GRV chief executive Stuart Laing

“The release of this infrastructure discussion paper comes at a critically important time for greyhound racing in Victoria as we embark on the opportunity to consider what the sport should look like for the next 30 years.

“With future options for racing and training in the Cranbourne and Southeast region being developed and track upgrades necessary at The Meadows and Sandown in the next five years, now is the time to assess our options carefully to ensure the long-term growth and sustainability of the industry.

“Considerations for the potential development of a greenfield site in the Southeast also allows for participants to imagine what a purpose-built facility might add to greyhound racing in Victoria.

“Investment in racing and training infrastructure is a key strategic priority for GRV and our Clubs and decisions about how that is best done need to be formulated in the best interest of the industry and our participants.

“GRV looks forward to attracting the thoughts and ideas of all participants and encourages anyone with an interest in the sport to make a submission and have their say on shaping the sport’s future racing and training infrastructure footprint.”

CLICK HERE to read the Victorian Greyhound Racing Assets & Infrastructure Discussion Paper in full, or read the discussion paper in three parts below.

A report has been commissioned to identify options for the potential construction of a new purpose-built greyhound racing and training facility in the south-east region.

The focus of this report was to identify potential land that could meet the needs of a facility and considered accessibility and planning overlays and provide indicative costing of the land and construction of a purpose-built racing and training facility.

A summary of the report is now available for public perusal. Click here to read it.

Any feedback is welcome via [email protected].

    Damien RactliffeDamien Ractliffe

    Damien Ractliffe

    A public affairs and communications specialist, working with Greyhound Racing Victoria after a career as an award-winning racing and sport journalist.

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