NSW government considering greyhound training track in Queanbeyan
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NSW government considering greyhound training track in Queanbeyan

The NSW government is considering building a greyhound training track in Queanbeyan at the very least, regardless of whether the ACT racing ban is overturned.

A PwC feasibility study into building both a greyhound track and a training facility at Queanbeyan Race Track was expected to be completed by the end of February.

NSW deputy premier John Barilaro says they could build a greyhound training facility at Queanbeyan regardless.

NSW deputy premier John Barilaro says they could build a greyhound training facility at Queanbeyan regardless.Credit:Jay Cronan

The ACT government has banned greyhound racing in Canberra, but the greyhound club is still allowed to train on their Symonston track.

Canberra Greyhound Racing Club have appealed the decision, with their next hearing in the Federal Court on March 19.

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Currently, they're racing at Goulburn every Thursday, with the NSW government allocating funds to build lights that would allow them to return to their usual Sunday night time slot.

While Canberra's preference was to return to racing at their ACT track, either through a court decision or a change of government, their last resort would be a move to Queanbeyan.

But NSW deputy premier John Barilaro revealed even if Canberra returns to racing at home the government could still build a training facility at Queanbeyan.

"We've now started that initial study. Even if they begin racing in Canberra, which is their hope, a training facility would still be a big part of what we need to look at," he said.

"We're looking at two parts - a training facility and a track itself. Over the next few months we'll see more of that detail come out.

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"They would love to have more training facilities regardless so there's still an opportunity either way."

The training facility would be a straight track, about 330-340 metres long, running down the inside of the horse racing track's home straight.

Straight tracks have the added advantage of being safer for the dogs - corners are where a lot of the injuries and crashes occur.

"We're working with the Canberra Greyhound club, we've started that work - two stages," Barilaro said.

"The first was to make sure we had a home for Canberra Greyhounds and that was Goulburn and we're investing over $1 million to get some lights there so we can get Sunday night racing.

"So we moved with that quickly. The second part is the feasibility study.

"While there's hope for them in Canberra they want to exhaust all those avenues before we sign off and say we need to build a new track here in Queanbeyan. [But] we're committed to the process."

David Polkinghorne covers the Canberra Raiders, local rugby league, Canberra Cavalry, racing and cycling, along with every other sport, for The Canberra Times.

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