Greyhound track approved
TWEED Shire councillors last night gave the go ahead for a new greyhound racing track on the Tweed despite “thousands of objections” from Australia and even overseas.
After an emotional debate councillors voted four to three to approve the $5.6 million complex at South Murwillumbah to replace the aging Border Park track at Tweed Heads.
The vote followed a pro- test outside the council chambers by supporters of Friends of the Hound, Greyhound Action Australia and Animal Welfare Queensland against breeding racing dogs and the killing of those no longer successful on the track.
The protesters were joined in the public gallery by supporters of the industry who maintained they did not kill any dogs.
Mayor Kevin Skinner, who voted for the development, at one stage ordered a security guard to escort interjector and animal rights activist Menkit Prince from the gallery after repeatedly warning the public to stay quiet.
Cr Dot Holdom said approval was a planning matter but many “progressive steps” were being taken by the greyhound industry which was involved in moves to re-house ex-racing dogs with prisoners. Nearby Lismore City Council, she said, estimated greyhound racing “is the fifth biggest employer in their region”.
Greens councillor Katie Milne and deputy mayor Barry Longland argued the “contentious industry” was not in keeping with the image of the Tweed, with Mt Warning likely to be shown on international telecasts in the background of the dog track.
Cr Longland and Cr Joan van Lieshout both opposed the industry's focus on gambling.