A petition opposing the development of a dog racetrack in Murray Bridge’s east has gained more than 2000 signatures in only a few days.
The $7 million development, proposed by Greyhound Racing South Australia (GRSA), is expected to take shape at Kennett Road from the middle of the year, but not if animal activist Melanie Easton has her way.
The rescue greyhound owner started a petition to stop the development on Thursday and said her strong opposition to it was dominantly based around animal rights.
“I’ve always been shocked that greyhound racing is still an industry in South Australia,” she said.
“Their track record is terrible; the number of dogs killed and the number of dog injured is horrible.”
Ignoring animal rights issues for a minute, the Adelaide-based woman said the track would also have no great benefit to Murray Bridge’s economy and unemployment rate.
“Even if they’re not personally swayed on the animal rights they need to take in the fact that there is very little benefit to the Rural City of Murray Bridge,” she said.
“It only plans to be open for 12 hours a week so staff will be part time or casual.
“The track is there to generate additional gambling revenue.”
But GRSA chief executive officer Matt Corby denied the claim, saying it would in fact create both short-term construction jobs and ongoing, long-term employment, and boost the economy.
“The project will require an investment of approximately $7 million and involves a construction period of approximately 12 months,” he said. “At any given race meeting, GRSA will employ approximately 25 staff, of which a number will inevitably be sourced locally.
“The completed track will race weekly and bring approximately 50 trainers and a greater number again of patrons into the Rural City of Murray Bridge.”
Mr Corby said he respected the right people held to protest against such developments but as a whole, the response already received from the community and council had been positive.
Ms Easton has drafted a letter which she will forward to DAC along with the 2000-plus signature petition.
- Submissions can be made via post: Development Assessment Commission secretary, GPO Box 1815, Adelaide 5001; or email: email@example.com, before 5pm on February 18.
- Visit www.thepetitionsite.com to sign the petition.