Councillors divided over greyhound track plan

8th April 2014

SEVERAL Logan City councillors spoke out against a greyhound track being built at Cronulla Park at last week's ordinary council meeting. Division six Councillor Luke Smith sparked the debate during the meeting's general business section. "I am very disappointed that the greyhounds have actually arrived and are being signalled to come to Logan," he said. "Im disappointed that the sports minister has chosen to yet again put an industry like that in our city.

"It's not what we need here, it's not the image we want to portray of this city. "I will do all I can to ensure that it doesn't happen."

Councillor Laurie Smith, Councillor Darren Power, Councillor Lisa Bradley, Councillor Steve Swenson and Mayor Pam Parker added their support to Cr Luke Smith's concerns. "I share some of my colleagues' positions in relation to the greyhounds," Cr Parker said. "I beleive it's the wrong image for our city."

Deputy Mayor Russell Lutton, a vocal supporter of the greyhound track, urged the councillors to put their personal feelings aside. "I accept that some of you, through your beliefs, might not want to go and have a bet or even look at the dogs but allow those that want to, to do it," he said. "I think you'll see, especially if I have my way, that it will be something that we will be promoting as a great asset to the city."

Councillor Graham Able lent his support to Cr Lutton, mocking those councillors who opposed the greyhound track. "This greyhound track is not a place of sin," he said. "This is a place where people can take their beloved dogs to race, it is a sport."

As councillor for Division three, where Cronulla Park is located, Cr Swenson said he did not support a single-use greyhound racing facility. "I oppose this being built in Slacks Creek and in Logan," he said. "I believe it's not the best use of what I believe is a prime piece of real estate in our city.

"When we've got local sporting groups crying out for more space, the state government has missed an incredible opportunity to make an investment into the residents of Logan and provide a facility that is multi-use." Councillor Don Peterson requested a report be presented to a future governance committee meeting outlining the potential advantages and disadvantages of the greyhound track.

Logan Country Chamber undecided

THE Logan Country Chamber of Commerce does not currently have an official position on the city's new greyhound racing track. Chamber president Laurie Koranski said despite reports in other media, the chamber had not taken a stance on the issue yet.

She said the chamber's committee had not had a chance to discuss the issue in detail and more information on the track and the effect it would have on the city was needed. "Logan Country Chamber of Commerce neither supports nor opposes the greyhound track at this time," she said.

"We need to evaluate the tourism benefit to our city against the potential social impacts and costs."

By Jessica McKenzie, Jimboomba Times

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