OPINION: Forget the emotion, here's the real greyhound facts

IF MY editorial supporting a $12 million greyhound racing centre of excellence for Ipswich was designed to draw reader feedback it certainly worked.

Unfortunately it seems that those in support of the proposal prefer to remain silent, while Cr Andrew Antoniolli's vocal supporters are prepared to raise the roof condemning the entire greyhound industry.

For the record, let me cut through the false accusations of Antoniolli's public relations team and repeat exactly what my comment was.

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I said any councillor who stood in the way of a $12 million development for this city was acting against the best interests of this community.

My major gripe with Cr Antoniolli is the timing of his outburst.

With Logan Council withdrawing its support for the centre after fighting for it for nine years, the timing couldn't be worse for him to raise his official voice and speak negatively about the greyhound industry.

If he did a little research into the Ipswich Greyhound Club he would know that for the past 30 years they have raced on a patched-up outdated circuit that needs to be mothballed.

Three years ago there was talk of building a track for them inside the Bundamba racecourse; this was canned when Labor lost the election.

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Now that the door is ajar we should be pushing hard to open it, not speaking negatively about the entire industry.

Let me explain a little about what the centre would mean to Ipswich.

Firstly it would create 350 full-time equivalent positions during construction, then once completed it would provide jobs for 12 full-time staff and an estimated 30 regular part-time opportunities.

Most importantly we would not just be getting one of the best greyhound racing facilities in Australia, we would also be getting a much needed modern convention style auditorium that could be used for numerous functions.

Having dropped into the greyhounds on some Saturday nights, I have noticed just how many functions have been relegated to the old sheds at the showgrounds.



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