Something old, plenty new at ‘Border Park’

By Chase Editor Pat McLeod

In our digital world that changes almost every split-second, there is something comforting about Steve McGrath’s plans for the quickly evolving greyhound track just south of the NSW-Queensland border.

Yes, it will be cutting-edge in so many ways, but its stellar race will always be ‘The Galaxy’, and will still take pride of place on the June long weekend, with qualifying on the Saturday and the final on the Monday.

“That won’t change,” says the long-term Tweed greyhound club secretary-manager. “But the prizemoney will. I would expect the first Galaxy at the new track to be worth more than $100,000 with about $60,000 to the winner.”

And he still refers to the new facility as ‘Border Park’, which is just eight kilometres south of the former iconic venue, which the club owned and sold for $16.5million back in 2016, when the last race was held there.

An excited McGrath recently released the first conceptual drawings of the new track and also announced plans for the development were now before Tweed Heads Shire Council.

While approval timelines are as ‘as long as a piece of string’ McGrath is confident that the technology, size and local benefits of the new track will result in a positive outcome.

Once the ‘tick’ has been given, there is a real possibility of a 9-12-month duration between the turning of the first sod and the first race. This means the first ‘Galaxy’ at the new Border Park track could happen as soon as June 2023.

“That would be great,” says McGrath. “And that can happen, but of course there has to be a lot go our way in that time, weather included.

“However, we have not rushed this process. We want everything done right.”

So far, that appears to have happened. The proposal more than meets Greyhound NSW  requirements. The one-turn track is big – the largest track design in Australia with a circumference of 712 metres and race starts at 407m, 457m, 507m and 585m.

The straight track has starts at 400m and 300m.

“This is a greenfield site, so everything – the tracks, the kennel block, the grandstand, etc – they will all be the best from whatever perspective you are coming from, whether that is animal welfare, track speed or patron comfort,” said McGrath.

“Our complex is three times the size of the old Border Park and the location is perfect, about an hour to the Lismore track and about an hour and a half to the proposed facility at Yamanto, west of Brisbane.

“This track will be a very attractive option for the several hundred trainers in that region. We took a long time identifying the right location, on both sides of the border. We are very happy with our choice and I am sure the participants will be as well.”

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