As they surveyed the ongoing construction at the Grafton Greyhound Club, Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) Chief Executive Officer Tony Mestrov, Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis and Grafton Greyhound Club President John Corrigan happily agreed that work on the new racing facility remains on track, adding they are delighted by the current progress of the $4.6 million upgrade.
Funded by the NSW Government’s $30 million, five-year Greyhound Racing Capital Grants Program which aims to improve safety and boost animal welfare standards at racetracks across the state, the new facility at Grafton will help greyhound racing to grow within the Northern Rivers region, and it will also ensure the welfare of the greyhounds and the sustainability of the sport.
A new track is being built to the latest design and construction minimum standards with a wider turn radius, improved track cambers and transitions, and strategically placed starting positions to provide a safer transit for greyhounds.
Describing himself as very excited by the continuing construction work, Mr Corrigan said Grafton will have a state-of-the art track which will be very safe for greyhound racing.
“Greyhound Racing NSW are right into animal welfare and they make sure that when we bring our dogs to the races, we take them home again,” he said, adding he was very proud to see the work being completed in Grafton.
As he toured the facility, Mr Mestrov acknowledged it had been a wet summer and credited the Grafton Greyhound Club and the contactors, many of them locally based, for their incredible dedication to have the upgrade finished on time.
“Grafton is a very important part of Greyhound Racing NSW’s huge cohort of participants and the club has done an unbelievable job led by John Corrigan, and they fully deserve this,” he said of the upgrade.
“This will be the first purpose-built track in decades in NSW and it’s Greyhound Racing NSW’s biggest project, thanks to the NSW Government.
“It’s all about the welfare of the track and this is the world’s best practice, design and construction which also meets the minimum track standard.
“It’s also about the welfare of the dogs and we see this as a key track, if not the best track in NSW, but also the safest track.”
Mr Gulaptis said the upgrade will enhance and secure greyhound racing’s future in Grafton, adding the facilities will attract owners and trainers from all over NSW.
Mr Corrigan said there are 40 local trainers who can’t wait to bring their dogs back to the Grafton Greyhound Club and with work scheduled to be completed by the end of April, they are looking forward to racing on the new circuit.
Some of the features of the new facility include the latest technology in starting box design, lure and lure rail design, as well as track lighting design with full LED lighting of the circuit.
All safety aids are being installed in accordance with the track safety standards, including safety rails and protective fence and catching pen safety padding.