With just seven days to go until GRV’s self imposed end to greyhound racing at Wangaratta, the GRV must be feeling pressure from both the Minister For Racing Rob Hulls MP and his direct opposition Denis Napthine MP.
They’ve just released a media statement reiterating that under the Racing Act, they (GRV), and only they, are the “sole body” controlling greyhound racing in Victoria; and to also reinforce the fact that there will be no greyhound racing at Wangaratta after 26th June 2009.
They have gone so far as to say that they had only notified the Racing Minister and his shadow counterpart of the intention to close Wangaratta to greyhound racing “as a matter of courtesy”.
The statement comes in the wake of high publicity in the Wangaratta community of the closure and opposition to the GRV’s position by the Wangaratta Greyhound Racing Club and the Local Member for Wangaratta.
Denis Napthine as recenlty as yesterday had used the GRV’s decision to close Avian Park to attack the government.
The full press release from the GRV reads :
Under S75 [a] of the Racing Act  Greyhound Racing Victoria [GRV] is the sole body legislated to control the sport of greyhound racing in Victoria.
On 1 April 2009 GRV announced that racing at the Wangaratta Greyhound Racing Club’s
[WGRC] racetrack [Avian Park] would cease from 26 June 2009. This announcement
followed an extensive consultation process over a number of years. The decision was
reached because the GRV Board formed the view that the improvements required to bring
Avian Park up to the necessary standard were uneconomic.
As a courtesy, GRV informed the Minister for Racing, the Hon Rob Hulls MP, and the
Shadow Minister for Racing, the Hon Denis Napthine MP, of that decision.
In recent days GRV has received a Submission from the WGRC that has raised issues that
GRV has agreed to investigate further.
In particular, GRV acknowledges that the WGRC submission offers a difference of opinion
in regards to the standards that should apply to racing facilities for the greyhound industry
in Victoria and the associated costs of works required at Avian Park to meet those
standards. GRV also recognises that the WGRC Submission raises other issues about
operational matters, the possible social impact on the local area and the anticipated impact
on trainers domiciled close to Wangaratta.
There will be no greyhound racing at Avian Park from 26 June 2009 while these matters
are further considered. The Board does not consider it appropriate to allow racing to
continue after 26 June 2009 while these matters are under further consideration.
As the race meetings that would otherwise have been scheduled at Avian Park have been scheduled to be held at Shepparton [Kialla] from 26 June 2009 the opportunity to race at meetings in the North East sector of the State will not be lost for local participants during this period.
Again, GRV has conveyed this decision to the Minister and Shadow Minister.