While the Wangaratta greyhound racing club hold what may or may not be the last ever greyhound meeting at Avian Park this morning, details have emerged that will cause more than a few sleepless nights for the talking heads at GRV headquarters.
According to Sally Evans in the Wangaratta local news, The Border Mail, Wangaratta Greyhound Racing Club has won the right to a full hearing in the Supreme Court to plead their case to stay afloat.
According to the report, the club yesterday convinced an associate judge it might have a legitimate case against Greyhound Racing Victoria’s decision to cease race meetings at Wangaratta.
While the greyhounds go round in circles at Avian Park this morning, with the what could be the last ever race to exit the boxes at 12:55pm; the real race to keep the open for business sign out the front will play out in court at the same time.
Lawyers representing the club will be urging the judge to also grant the club a stay of proceedings, which will derail GRV’s plans to call it quits at the Northern track today. The hearing had been carried over from yesterday and will likely not finish before the last greyhound crossess the line in the last today.
According to the report, one of the lawyers representing the club was John O’Callaghan from Piper Alderman lawyers, who was optimistic about yesterday’s outcomes.
“We’ve come a long way,” he said.
“We’ve got to second base and been allowed to continue through the court system. The court considers we’ve got an arguable point.”
The club is arguing that GRV failed to consult with the industry, that it showed bias and had an ulterior motive in closing Avian Park Raceway.
The legal action has been taken by the club as a last resort to try to save the industry in the Northern Victoria, which is estimated to comprise some 85 breeders with 1000 dogs.
Whichever way it plays out today, the club are assured of their day in the Supreme Court and that will come at a huge cost to both the club and the GRV.
If the Wangaratta Club are successful in the Supreme Court, then that cost will surely hang like a guillotine over the heads of those that have thrust the industry in to this position in what seems like a hasty and ill-considered decision to close Wangaratta.