GBOTA To Finance Lismore's Return To Racing

THE NSW GBOTA is 100 per cent committed to funding and getting the Lismore greyhound track up and running again after another flood event.

David Brasch

1 July 2022

THE NSW GBOTA is 100% committed to getting the Lismore greyhound track up and running again following its most recent flood event.

Allan Hilzinger, who was recently appointed CEO of the NSW GBOTA, said today that the Association’s board was hoping to have racing at Lismore back by September in time for the Group 2 Lismore Cup series.

“Obviously, GRNSW need to approve allocation of race dates, and there are some other hurdles to overcome,” said Hilzinger.

The devastated Lismore track after the floods receded

“But the board is committed. It is our belief we have a responsibility to our members to provide greyhound racing at Lismore.

“Without Lismore, there is no two-turn track in the Northern Rivers,” Hilzinger added.

“My understanding is that the Casino-Lismore area provides 10.9% of the state’s greyhound trainers.

“Much has to be achieved before racing gets underway.

“We are aware the track and kennels must meet the standards for racing, and Sky coverage, video feeds and the like need to be guaranteed,” he said.

“Yes, there was significant damage to the track and infrastructure.

Flood ravaged Lismore in 2021

“I can tell you now, such is the extent of damage in areas that the upstairs dining area will not re-open.

“We have costings of what it will take to get racing going again and have been working on additional funding opportunities outside of the industry which look promising.

“Our board has looked at every aspect of this project, and while there are risks, yes, we believe we have a responsibility to our members in the region to do all we can in the short and long term.”

Given the high probability of flooding at Lismore obtaining insurance for the venue is futile.

It means the cost of resurrecting Lismore to return to racing will cost in the vicinity of $600,000 which will be paid exclusively by the GBOTA.

Once racing can resume, the NSW GBOTA will continue to strongly explore options with other willing parties which address current location risks and ensure long term viability of the region, as a greyhound heartland.

While getting Lismore up and running is a short term focus, Hilzinger also confirmed the GBOTA is fully behind working with GRNSW and other willing parties in the region to look at all possible long term solutions.