Despite the fact that the GRV are obviously very comfortable with closing greyhound racing at Wangaratta, they refuse to confirm that in writing to the Wangratta Coucil; instead playing a game of poilitics that could be lifted straight from a Yes Minister script.
According to Sally Evans of The Border Mail, Greyhound Racing Victoria have given Wangaratta Council just one week to agree to funding a return to greyhound racing at Wangaratta to the tune of $4 Million.
Quite laughably though, a Wangaratta Council report in to the proposal has cast serious doubt over the executive at Greyhound Racing Victoria stating that “it is unreasonable and impractical to expect the council to find $4 million within the given time frame”.
Furthermore, Greyhound Racing Victoria failed to provide any detailed information with it’s request for the $4 Million, with the report stating that is was “embarrassing to approach any level of government for a commitment to funding” without providing the degree of information required for such an amount.
Understandably the Member for Murray Valley Ken Jasper was not impressed by GRV’s political grand-standing, saying that “Greyhound Racing Victoria was hellbent in seeking to close it (Wangaratta) and then blaming the council”.
Greyhound racing finished in Wangaratta in June after the board said Avian Park required a makeover of $6.3 million.
The Wangaratta Greyhound Racing Club itself claimed just $1.25 million was needed to meet the board’s requirements and fought unsuccessfully to have the decision overturned in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
In a smack in the face for greyhound racing participants in the Wangaratta region, since Greyhound Racing Victoria announced the closure of Wangaratta due to the level of funding required; GRV has since announced a $1.9 Million upgrade to Warragul greyhounds, $116,000 to Ballarat greyhounds, $155,00 to The Meadows, a a $1.1 Million increase in prizemoney and rebates, increases to VBIS and GOBIS schemes, and a $4.6 Million upgrade to Geelong greyhound racing track.
You can’t help but get the feeling the funding to continue greyhound racing at Wangaratta was definitely available but the spirit from Greyhound Racing Victoria was decidedly lacking.