Goulburn will push its credentials for a 'greyhound centre of excellence' to be established in the city.
Whether that's on a greenfield site or the current Goulburn Greyhounds home at the Recreation Area is yet to be decided.
The council is taking the first steps toward the project, by lobbying Racing Minister, Kevin Anderson and Greyhound NSW for the facility.
It would include a straight track, a veterinary hospital and a rehabilitation centre for retired dogs.
The need for such a facility is outlined in Greyhound Racing NSW' (GRNSW) strategic plan, which covers track safety and animal welfare. The document, covering 2018 - 2021, flagged the Hunter Valley for a rehabilitation centre in 2020/21.
On Wednesday, GRNSW announced that it had secured a Hunter Valley property as a farm-stay for retired greyhounds.
Chairman Hugh Armenis said it had potential to house up to 400 dogs and be fully operational by next year. He described it as one "one of the most significant welfare announcements in racing."
"The farm-stay is a crucial step in GRNSW's welfare and lifetime care program for all greyhounds, and significant work has been done to ensure we have secured the ideal property for this facility," he said.
It is designed to re-home dogs that are not yet pet-ready.
The announcement came after Tuesday's council meeting. Councillors decided to press Goulburn's case for a 'centre of excellence'.
"It's a great opportunity for Goulburn and I think we should grab it with both hands," Cr Denzil Sturgiss said.
GRNSW has allocated $30 million to underpin its strategic plan. A total $7m has been spent in the last two years on track upgrades, rebuilds and remediation to meet new standards.
The remaining $23m will be allocated to more such improvements to meet operating licences, but also animal welfare initiatives, including a rehabilitation centre and a re-homing facility.
Mayor Bob Kirk said Goulburn was ideally located for the 'centre of excellence.'
"We just want to put Goulburn under the spotlight for consideration," he said.
"All the investigations would have to be done, along with how it would fit in with existing Recreation Area users, if it were to go there. If it were to be a greenfield site, then where should it go? All that detail has to be worked out."
The Goulburn track and associated infrastructure has already undergone improvements in the past few years. The Grace Millsom Centre's construction at the Recreation Area has also given patrons a comfortable viewing area.
In 2018, the state government granted $700,000 towards a $1.2m upgrade, including lighting and track safety improvements. This work is planned over the next year.
It comes amid discussion about the best track design. Many in NSW are under review, with the aim of improvement.
"Very few racetracks have been built in the past three to four decades," the strategy states.
The surface, camber and slope are being examined. Slopes on turns shouldn't cause a change in the greyhound's stride, the document stated.
Technicalities aside, Cr Kirk said Goulburn MP Wendy Tuckerman was also "lobbying hard" to secure the centre of excellence.
The council will write to GRNSW and Mr Anderson, backing the facility's establishment in Goulburn. It will state that a greenfield site is an "appropriate" location and that the council will help identify a suitable spot.
The Post has requested comment from Goulburn Greyhounds. The local track hosts more than 94 meetings annually.
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