What choice does the Strong Choices campaign really give us?

28th April 2014

The Strong Choices campaign pretends Queenslanders have a say in deciding how to reduce the state’s enormous $80 billion debt. But one item that isn’t presented as an option for taxpayers to cut funding from is the new greyhound racing track at Cronulla Park, Logan.

The decision to go ahead with the new racing track was made in 2010.  Currently, $12 million of taxpayers’ money is being ear-marked on the track, despite the numerous social and economic concerns raised by community members.  Contrary to claims that the new facility will increase productivity in the Logan community, research shows that the social costs of greyhound racing far outweigh any economic benefits. The proposed greyhound racing facility will be built in Logan, a known problem gambling area. Research indicates that the effects of gambling are usually worse in disadvantaged areas, and Logan is in the top 10 disadvantaged areas Australia wide. 

“Logan is already considered the ‘pokie capital of Queensland’ and is suffering from significant economic disadvantage”, says Ms Cotton, Animal Liberation Queensland spokesperson. 

Animal Liberation Queensland is also concerned about the impact the new racing track will have on the greyhounds that are forced into this entertainment industry. The recent NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into greyhound racing uncovered numerous reports of serious animal welfare issues common in the industry including doping, corruption and lack of transparency. Every year, the greyhound racing industry is responsible for the deaths of 17,000 dogs. 

As Ms Cotton says, the greyhound racing industry is “economically unviable, socially irresponsible, cruel and wasteful”. It is expected that the new track at Cronulla Park will promote the additional deaths of countless more greyhounds as well as increase the social and economic problems associated with gambling addiction in an already at-risk region. 

Animal Liberation Queensland are calling for residents to sign an e-petition that calls for the greyhound racing facility to be canned in favour of a more community friendly and culturally inclusive centre that will support healthy lifestyles. 

Residents are also urged to share their opinions with decision-makers by using the comments function on the Strong Choices website http://www.strongchoices.qld.gov.au