Albion Park, the home of greyhound racing in Queensland, ironically called The Creek, has seen floods before … but nothing like this. The Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club is closed with a re-start date yet to be set. Club CEO Luke Gatehouse explains the drama of recent weeks:
“What was significant about this flood was the water came up and stayed up. In 2011 it was a 24- hour rush of water that came down the river, swept through and then it disappeared.
“This time, because of the amount of rainfall, the level rose, it kept raining and with the tide, the water would subside a little, but would still be there and with the next high tide the whole place would be inundated again.
The flood hit late Saturday night (February 26) and we could not get into the site until the following Thursday.
We have been racing at Albion Park since 1993 and this is the worst ever flood, in fact it is the biggest calamity we have had since I have been at the club.
We have had the 2011 floods, live baiting, Covid, equine influenza, the grandstand being condemned – but this is the worst.
Front of mind for me now is to get back to trialing and racing. From the moment we knew we were going under water, everything we have been doing is to get back to racing.
Nobody has thrown their hands in the air and said – this is too bloody hard.
We can’t beat mother nature. We were able to race through a global pandemic that almost shut the whole world down, but mother nature taught us a lesson.
When will we be back racing? It is just too hard at this stage to put a date to it. But we will get there as fast as humanly possible.
Another hurdle at the moment is that the global supply chain is busted. This could not have happened at a worst time – the perfect storm.
The club’s staff and volunteers have been amazing. When we came in for the initial clean-up there were some really dirty jobs to be done … like cleaning out the food cool-room and freezer that had been sitting in the elements for six days without power.
The stench was unbelievable.
Everyone has kept their spirits high. I put it down to the Queenslander spirit – we never give up.”