Trouble on the track for Bundaberg greyhounds
THERE'S trouble on the track at the Bundaberg Greyhound Club as committee members struggle to hold on to support to keep them running.
This weekend there will be a call-to-action meeting to help keep the club afloat.
Some may say it's a dying sport but Bundaberg greyhound owners and trainers are hoping they can turn it around this weekend.
It will be a public meeting open to the community to show support for the local club.
The club's vice president Alan Raines spoke with the NewsMail saying if the club doesn't get more support its likely the doors will close.
Mr Raines said the Bundaberg Greyhound Club was left with "huge debts” after its previous committee was dysfunctional.
"We just need all the negativity to stop,” Mr Raines said.
He hopes the meeting on Sunday will shed some light and open up possibilities such as a local TAB.
The Bundaberg race track is unique, being the only grass track left in the State and would be suitable for broadcasting.
"We would love to go a TAB track,” Mr Raines said.
"That's a good revenue for us and the bills we owe Racing Queensland, we can pay them back.”
Mr Raines said the issue was with Racing Queensland who didn't want to see a TAB brought to Bundaberg.
"I don't know why they don't want to do it,” he said.
"Once it goes TAB they would be able to recoup any costs in getting it here.
"We see the big picture and they can't.”
All greyhound personal Mr Raines had spoken to would like to see a TAB track.
"If we close it's four and half hours to Rockhampton and four hours to Brisbane to the nearest clubs,” he said.
"Across the board everyone is very worried.”
The vice president has been involved with greyhounds for 20 years and said his dogs were like family to him.
"I say my grandkids own the dogs and they get the prize money for them,” he said.
"It would be devastating for our club to close down.”
Racing Queensland's Darrin Davies hopes the meeting will "reinvigorate greyhound racing in Bundaberg”.
Mr Davis said it would be discussion on a roadmap for the future of greyhound racing in the region.
He said the club had been in existence for more than 89 years thanks to generations of fans of the sport, breeders and trainers.
Racing Queensland Acting CEO Simon Stout said the club had benefited from many dedicated members and volunteers over the decades but new people are welcome.
"We want to thank the stakeholders for their tireless efforts but we do need the community to get behind the club and take it to a new level,” Mr Stout said.
The public meeting will be held at the Bundaberg Greyhound Racing Club Sunday from 10:30am to 1pm with the current committee and representatives from Racing Queensland in attendance.
There are vacancies on the Club Committee and Racing Queensland is encouraging expressions of interest from the broader community.