Greyhound racing ban is not the answer, says Casino mayor
RICHMOND Valley Mayor Ernie Bennett has come out in support of the local greyhound industry, stating that while he understood the importance of animal rights, he did not believe an outright ban was the answer.
"I understand greyhound racing in NSW needed to be cleaned up, but is banning necessary?" he asked.
Cr Bennett said numerous people had approached the council in different capacities over the issue.
As a result, the council will consider a notice of motion at its meeting on Tuesday.
It will call on the NSW Government to take into account the impact its greyhound racing ban will have on those in the Richmond Valley community who participate in and rely on the greyhound industry for their livelihood, and who have been operating in line with its codes and standards.
Cr Bennett said that although he believed a ban was not the answer, he could not guarantee that the council would vote the same way.
"It is really up to how the evening pans out to see what kind of resolution is drafted," he said.
He added that it could not be determined exactly how, or in what form, the council would lobby the NSW government until the final vote was cast on Tuesday.
Cr Bennett proposed the idea that the NSW Government could take control of the industry to clean it up, or if it proceeded with the ban, at least provide some form of support for those who had been doing the right thing.
"Things like this have a way of becoming a loss in other things - the horse racing industry for example," he said.
"If they proposed a ban on horse racing that would have an absolutely devastating effect on regional towns all over Australia."
The Casino Greyhound Racing Club has 62 active members, and there are 100 local trainers in the area running about 1000 greyhounds.
The Casino Greyhound Racing Club holds around 49 TAB-supported meetings a year at Queen Elizabeth Park, each attended by about 145 adults. Eleven races are held per meeting, and the prizemoney for each race ranges from $1500 to $2300 (not per meeting as suggested in the release).
Recent investment by the Club totalling more than a $1000,000 included the conversion from grass track to an all-weather loam track.
Lismore Greyhound Club members train and race at the Casino track due to the flood damage in Lismore.