Australian Racing Greyhound has just become aware that contrary to our earlier story stating Wangaratta had been partially successful in their application to court last week; the truth is infact the absolute opposite and will be a major setback for the ailing club.
Our report went out midway through the hearing and was quoting the Wangaratta Greyhounnd Racing Club’s legal advisor who was upbeat about the clubs position and their chances of being granted leave to continue racing despite the 26th June 2009 deadline. It now seems that optimism was not well placed.
GRV CEO John Stephens has today confirmed that the final outcome of the hearing was that Wangaratta Greyhound Racing Club’s “application was dismissed”; meaning that at least for now, all greyhound racing at Avian Park has finished.
Additionally, Australian Racing Greyhound understand that the officiating judge dealt the club a double blow by awarding costs against the club. While we are not privy to what those costs total, it does mean that those responsible for the application to court will have to not only pay their own legal expenses but also those incurred by the GRV in opposing the application.
While it remains true that club do have recourse to apply to higher legal systems, they would now have to seriously consider their legal positions as they have already had one judgement made against them and costs awarded. Any subsequent legal action would not only leave them liable to significant expense, but would most likely also need to prove that the recent judgement was somehow flawed.
At a meeting with the club in early June 2009, the GRV Board, as a matter of course, gave the Wangaratta Club an undertaking that they would review their decision to close greyhound racing at Wangaratta over the next month and report back to them with the decision.
If a lifeline is to be thrown to the club, that GRV Board review now seems the most likely source of any tangible hope to keep the Northern Victorian greyhound club open.