Central West Update
March 13 2023
After sadly having the Kennerson Park track destroyed due to flooding towards the end of 2022, NSW GBOTA in collaboration with GRNSW are currently investigating all possibilities for a Greyhound Centre of Excellence (COE) in the Central West with the primary locations of focus being Bathurst & Orange.
Various rumours and suggestions have been made and below is a current update directly from NSW GBOTA in relation to where the process is at. While sites have been identified, no decisions or commitments have been made and open discussions with all stakeholders are continuing.
Our recent enhanced and strong working relationship with GRNSW has continued with this project through continual discussions and collaboration and much appreciated support and advice from GRNSW CEO Rob McCauley has been well received.
NSW GBOTA have met with both Bathurst & Orange councils and exchanged multiple emails with both council General Managers to discuss the potential of the Central West COE being built in their region with very positive response. Multiple land sites have been discussed and investigated in both regions and we are in the final processes of evaluating each of the best sites in relation to costing, ensuring is appropriate land (size, flood free, accessible, well located etc) and remain in communications with each of the councils.
At this stage we have short listed down potential sites and on the back of further upcoming discussions with council we will be working with GRNSW to ensure the best decision for the region is made.
Orange Council Meeting - Tuesday 7th March
Last Tuesday 7th March, NSW GBOTA CEO Allan Hilzinger accepted an invitation to speak at an Orange council meeting on behalf of NSW GBOTA in relation to a motion put forward by Councillor Jeff Whitton “That Council will work with NSW GBOTA & GRNSW to establish a Greyhound track and precinct in Orange”. Despite one month earlier, a motion for Orange to not pause discussions on the potential of a track in Orange was disappointingly passed 7-3, given that nobody from greyhound racing presented at this meeting or knew the motion was being put forward, there were some clear miss communications as highlighted by one of the council members who last week voted positively for greyhound racing. We are proud to say that this latest vote returned an 8-2 vote in favour of the motion to progress discussions.
The participants in the region showed their support by attending the meeting as observers with close to 150 people filling the council chambers for the meeting. It was a proud moment for greyhound racing in not just the show of support, in the positive attitude, respect and energy given by all in attendance.
To clarify what this now means – This does not mean we are locked into building at Orange. It means that Orange is well in the open discussions, along with Bathurst and that this motion opens the door for CEO’s to discuss directly what is possible and needed from both parties to progress further. However, had a vote against the motion happened, it would have seen Orange no longer considered an option for the Central West COE.
As a sport wanting to ensure we have the absolute best options available to us in such an impactive decision, this is a GREAT result and ensures we have both more options and more negotiating capacity, especially knowing the level of economic benefit that the new COE will bring to the town/city that it is developed in.
Both regions MP’s, Mr Paul Toole (MP for Bathurst) and Mr Phil Donato (MP for Orange) have indicated they would welcome the COE to be built in their region and we aim to have further discussions in relation to continued support after the upcoming state election on March 25th.
More specific discussions and negotiations with both councils in conjunction with GRNSW will be undertaken over the coming month, with an aim to consider and compare the opportunities and ensure the best result for both the immediate and long term future of greyhound racing in the Central West.