By now you are probably aware of RQ’s decision to close Cairns GRC, as of 31/12/2018.
This is very sad news for the industry, but even more so for the Cairns participants.
Over the past year, the President of Cairns club, Ms.Emma Bryant, has suffered ill health. Emma provides the bulk of greyhounds week in and out for these meetings. With her absence the club was unable to field meetings, and as such I believe 13 have been abandoned. RQ has decided that it is no longer financially viable to continue supporting Cairns.
Emma Bryant sent me a letter on 20/11/2018 outlining a proposal from trainers in that region. She asked if I could present it for discussion with RQ and members of the Advisory Panel at the December 5 meeting.
As I had been informed that the QGBOTA was to be removed from the panel, I met with another panel member, and asked if he could present this for me. It would appear that, disappointingly, this has not occurred. **Update 3.04PM- The original presentation was not used, however the requested member did speak up for the Cairns track.
If you wish to know whether the panel supported the closing of Cairns, you will have to ask those involved.
I can tell you this, The QGBOTA would never have condoned the closing of ANY track. EVER!
The main issue for Cairns is not something new. There is a shortage of Trainers. If there were trainers, people would send them dogs.
Under RQ and post 2015, trainers have been leaving the industry at around 20% year to year. As trainers aged, there has been little to zero action by RQ to fill this void with new trainers. The current package took far too long to achieve. It was expensive, and the opportunities to complete the required course in a suitable time frame, proved all but impossible.
The proposed scheme is infinitely worse, and will drive away any new interested parties.
There seems to be no urgency to rectify this on RQ’s part. Soon this will impact on other tracks.
After talking to Adam Wallish today, I understand that it was a business decision by RQ. According to Adam, Cairns was not financially viable, lacked trainer numbers, and dogs to fill meetings.
But, this could be said of many Thoroughbred Country tracks. There are numerous tracks around Queensland that are propped up because as RQ keep telling us, “Country races are the heart and soul of the industry.”
Once again it shows we will never “run as one.”
Greyhound numbers are on the rise, and in 12-18 months, if the trend continues, the country tracks will once again be required to take the dogs not able to race in the city.
Where will these dogs go? Have we learnt nothing?
If there is a Santa at RQ, I would ask for the industry:
Build the new promised tracks, stop talking, just get it done.
Stop choking grass roots participants with ridiculous rules.
Make getting trainers licenses easier, faster and cheaper.
Give the code that performs best (that’s us) the respect, and financial reward it deserves.
I take this opportunity to wish all a healthy, safe Christmas. Good luck with your charges in 2019.
P.S: If any members in Cairns require the assistance of the QGBOTA during this period, do not hesitate to contact us.