The state's first straight greyhound racing track has officially been opened earlier this week at Richmond Race Club as a part of the NSW Government's ongoing commitment to improving greyhound welfare standards.
Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson, Hawkesbury MP Robyn Preston and Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) CEO Tony Mestrov visited the newly completed 324 metre track at Richmond, on Tuesday, April 13.
Mr Anderson said that development of straight tracks and GRNSW's investment in track safety upgrades are game changers for welfare outcomes in the greyhound racing industry.
"I am thrilled to see GRNSW and Richmond Race Club leading the way with the development of the first straight track in NSW," he said. "This is quite literally a new direction for the sport.
"Among the features of the track will be the innovative Safe Chase, battery operated, cableless lure, and the IsoLynx greyhound tracking and timing system.
"While the Isolynx system will provide great information for punters and viewers, the use of Isolynx microchip technology provides greyhound health and welfare benefits by monitoring the dog's heart and stress levels.
"All of the information collected will assist GRNSW and the Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission with vital data to drive a safer and stronger greyhound racing industry."
Mr Mestrov said the project is in line with GRNSW's Strategic Plan 2018-2021 to improve welfare and safety in the greyhound racing industry.
"It is with great pride that we are able to open this track at Richmond, which will see TAB straight track racing for the first time in NSW," he said.
"The Richmond straight track has been a long time in the making and the planning was meticulous so that we could be sure it was a state of art facility, and that is what has been delivered by our Tracks and Infrastructure team at GRNSW.
"We are delighted with the finished product at Richmond and look forward with excitement to the track staging its first meeting on April 24, over the 324 metres."
The $500,000 track upgrade is part of the NSW Government's $30 million investment in improving tracks right across the State to meet stringent new minimum safety standards and drive down injury rates in the sport.
Ms Preston welcomed the official opening of the track upgrade following years of campaigning to secure the upgrade.
"Western Sydney is the heart and soul of greyhound racing in NSW and there is no better location for the State's first straight track than at Western Sydney's premier greyhound racing track," she said.
"This is a huge win for our local trainers, patrons and the many racing dogs who will benefit from increased safety at the track."