BATHURST racing manager Jason Lyne is urging all greyhound racing participants to be trackside on Thursday night when political commentator Paul Murray heads to the track for a special edition of his current affairs and commentary program, Paul Murray Live.
Murray has been a vocal supporter of the New South Wales greyhound racing industry since Premier Mike Baird announced the decision to outlaw the sport within the state as of July 1, 2017.
Lyne said Murray’s appearance at Bathurst, along with the public support from Ray Hadley and Alan Jones, is massive for the industry, installing confidence in participants that there is some hope for the survival of the sport.
“Without their support I don’t think we would be in the position we are now,” Lyne told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“It has been amazing and it is greatly appreciated by the people out here and we are hoping people will come along and show their thanks on Thursday night.
“The response from participants has been phenomenal, we have had plenty of people registering so far to be in the crowd and we have got friends and family of those involved in the sport just coming along to show their support.
“It has been fantastic and it should be a great night.”
Lyne said the club is expecting a broad cross-section of the industry to be in attendance, with people asked to arrive between 7-7.30pm ahead of a BBQ. The show will be recorded live on-course from 9pm.
“Some of the major players from out this way will be trackside – Paul and Jan Wheeler are coming up for the night and Marty Hallinan has indicated he might come.
“In general we are expecting a lot of people from the Central West to come up for the night and show their support of the industry.
“These things bring us together – we have smaller participants with just one or two dogs right through to the larger participants… it is going to be a really good mix of people.”
With the upcoming by-election at Orange on November 12, Lyne said it was important for participants, particularly those in the local area, to continue to fight for the industry, with those involved campaigning against the Nationals Party which has held the seat for 65 years.
It is hoped that a swing against the Nationals Party will be enough to see Deputy Premier Troy Grant resign as the Nationals leader, a move which could see the greyhound racing ban subsequently overturned.
“A lot of people are throwing their time and energy into the by-election and we are very hopeful that we will get a massive swing against the Nationals or potentially even knock the seat off which would be a major milestone for us.
“The atmosphere out here is a lot more positive compared to eight weeks ago and people are getting a bit more optimistic.
“We have just got to keep fighting the good fight and turning up every day doing the right thing to show the public what the industry is really like and how good a people we really are.”