QUEENSLAND greyhound racing has been dealt a blow with plans for a new track in the south of Brisbane canned.
The 10 hectare block at Slacks Creek in Logan has now been promised to local council for redevelopment, with $6.6 million pledged to help build a community centre.
The track was to be the third in the South East Queensland, and a beacon of hope for the racing community, but it drew harsh criticism from opponents to it, who said it would contribute to an already high level of problem gambling and animal cruelty.
Queensland Racing Minister Grace Grace confirmed that the location would never be considered for greyhound racing again moving forward.
“As Racing Minister I just want to confirm that Cronulla Park will no longer proceed as a greyhound racing track,” she said.
“Racing Queensland were very keen to ensure that when we do build facilities for the racing industry it would be in an area that would welcome those facilities.
“Racing Queensland is currently working on a five-year infrastructure plan that includes additional facilities for the racing industry but I can categorically say Cronulla Park will no longer be used for Racing Queensland.
“We are looking forward to some world class facilities being built here.
“The community of Logan are the real winners with this decision.”
The Mayor of Logan Luke Smith, who has been an outspoken opponent of the Cronulla Park greyhound track, said he was pleased with the decision and considered it a boost to his community.
How the tables have turned on the industry since 2012, when then Racing Minister Tim Mulherin announced the track would be built, a decision ratified by Racing Queensland in September 2013.
“What this announcement signifies is elected representatives from two levels of government listened to the voice of the people,” Smith said.
“The people were overwhelmingly telling us they did not want greyhounds in Logan.
“I am so happy that greyhound racing in Logan is well and truly muzzled.
“It will not be happening. The end has now been signified.
“I would like to see a multi-sports complex there, something that we can offer our residents to get them out and involved in training or recreation of their choice.”
Animal welfare parties were also rejoicing at the Logan announcement, with Liberation Queensland quick to sink the boot into the greyhound racing industry.
“This is a great victory for people power,” the statement read.
“We congratulate the Queensland government and the Logan City Council for making this decision at last, and we hope that this is another nail in the coffin of the greyhound racing industry.”
Logan was first touted as a potential site for greyhound racing more than eight years ago, with Greyhounds Queensland commissioning a survey of Cronulla Park back in January 2009.
More to come…