Moree residents will now how to cross the state border and go to Warwick, Queensland to watch greyhound racing after Tamworth and Armidale tracks were shut down indefinitely this week.
Greyhound Racing NSW shut down the Armidale track on Wednesday to allow for remedial work. On Tuesday, the Tamworth track was closed due to safety concerns. The Gunnedah track has been closed since February for the same reasons, while Moree's track has been closed since 2012.
The greyhound racing track in Warwick, Queensland, three and a half hours drive away, is now the closest to Moree.
“What’s happening is the NSW government is refusing to fund track maintenance and upgrades,” Northern Tablelands SFF candidate Rayne Single said.
“So the tracks deteriorate, create safety problems and get shut down.
“The indefinite closure of greyhound racing tracks in Armidale and Tamworth this week shows the NSW government is imposing a greyhound ban by stealth.”
Tony Atkins, a licenced greyhound racing participant, said there is now no greyhound racing in the entire region.
“The greyhound participants in this area have now been left high and dry with no racing ... and nowhere to even trial and condition their greyhounds,” he said.
Mr Atkins was critical of the NSW government.
“They get millions in revenue from the industry,” he said.
“But they’re not investing it back into the tracks … there’s been terrible management and administration.”
Mr Single, who regularly attends races in Armidale, said this is a major kick in the guts for greyhound racing.
“We know the Sydney Liberals and Nationals hate this industry. I get that. But there’s so many people around here who depend on it,” he said.
“This back door attempt to shut down the industry is disgraceful. We don’t even have any word or when the tracks in Armidale, Tamworth and Gunnedah may be re-open again.”