Greyhound Racing NSW Chief Executive Officer Tony Mestrov has described today’s announcement that the NSW Government will invest $4.6 million into a major redevelopment of the Grafton racetrack, as one of the most significant track infrastructure funding announcements in NSW history.

Chris Gulaptis, the Member for Clarence, announced the project which will include a newly built track with a safer shape and size, installation of safety railing, upgraded LED lighting and new irrigation system and kennels complex.

“We gave a commitment to Grafton greyhound racing participants that we would help make the track safer for racing dogs and secure the sport’s future in the Northern Rivers region, and today we are honoring that commitment,” Mr Gulaptis said.

“Our local track has always had strong patronage from the local community and is a significant TAB track in the Northern Rivers, which is why this multi-million dollar investment is so important.”

The project is the latest, and largest, to be funded by the Government’s $30 million, five-year Greyhound Racing Capital Grants Program to improve safety and boost animal welfare standards at racetracks across the state.

“This is one of the most significant track infrastructure funding announcements in NSW history,” Mr Mestrov said. “A massive $4.6 million investment to deliver a suite of safety, amenity and welfare upgrades and initiatives that will see this venue become the benchmark for greyhound racing facilities in Australia.

“GRNSW worked collaboratively with the Grafton club to request the release of funds from the Government’s grant program, and this project will ensure that greyhound racing can grow in the region while at the same time ensuring the welfare of our greyhounds and the sustainability of the sport.

“As we have continually said, welfare and safety are at the forefront of everything we do at GRNSW, and this redevelopment is our latest step in ensuring both of those aspects of our sport are being catered to.”

Among the work to be conducted is a new racetrack, designed in consultation with safety engineers at the University of Technology, with a larger footprint to ensure it exceeds the most stringent track safety requirements, new racing infrastructure including starting boxes, safety rails and lures, all incorporating the latest racing technology.

There will be an upgraded irrigation system, a major venue enhancement to improve comfort for members and spectators including enhanced track lighting, access paths and landscaping, and a brand new kennel building that incorporates an animal welfare facility, a blueprint for a model which is planned to roll-out to other key regional venues going forward.

Work is expected to begin in November and take around five months to complete. 

Grafton is the latest racetrack to be upgraded under the NSW Government’s Greyhound Racing Capital Grants program, joining the likes of Wentworth Park, Tamworth, Gunnedah and Gosford.