02/09/2014 - 14:54

Funding boost to facilitate greyhounds redevelopment

02/09/2014 - 14:54

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Greyhounds WA’s plans for a new track next to its existing home in Cannington have received a shot in the arm, with $13 million provided by Racing & Wagering Western Australia for the move.

An artist's rendering of the proposed new greyhound track.

Greyhounds WA’s plans for a new track next to its existing home in Cannington have received a shot in the arm, with $13 million provided by Racing & Wagering Western Australia for the move.

The funding means Greyhounds WA can go ahead with the first stage of redevelopment, which includes a fresh track and dog kennels, as well as betting facilities.

Greyhounds WA signed a 30-year lease with a 30-year option for the new facility in 2013.

However, Greyhounds WA chief executive David Hobbs said there was real concern the dog track would have to leave Cannington if the funding was not approved.

Mr Hobbs said 37 full-time and 151 part-time and casual staff would have lost their jobs without the funding boost, while 240 suppliers would also have been severely affected.

“This would have been a disaster for our industry with a recent $250,000 business study commissioned by Greyhounds WA revealing that such a decision would have had a major detriment al impact on the future of the greyhound industry in Western Australia,” Mr Hobbs said.

“Confirmation by the state government that we will receive $13 million in funding means that Greyhounds WA can immediately proceed with Stage 1 of the new Cannington Stadium with practical completion by July 2015.”

The land on which the existing greyhounds track sits on is owned by the Canning Agricultural, Horticultural and Recreational Society, which is planning to replace the existing greyhound track with a multiple-use showground and community facility facing Albany Highway.

An expressions of interest campaign was launched in February last year by commercial real estate agency JLL, flagging the potential development of a business park or hotel development on the land, which is zoned city centre.

The society announced at its AGM in March that Bunnings was its successful proponent, with a lease signed for a parcel of land on the corner of the showground at Albany Highway and Liege Street.

The hardware giant is understood to be formulating a development application to build a new Bunnings Warehouse, but traffic in the area has been identified as a major challenge.

The Bunnings lease is set to begin once Greyhounds WA vacates its existing premises in July 2015.

Income from the lease is expected to fund the development of the Cannington Exhibition Centre and Showgrounds.

Meanwhile, the second stage of the greyhound track redevelopment is expected to cost around $8.3 million, primarily for the construction of a new grandstand.

In the meantime, Mr Hobbs said a temporary grandstand would be imported from South Korea to provide spectator seating once the first stage of the redevelopment was complete.

Mr Hobbs said he was confident the funds for the second phase of redevelopment would be able to be sourced from the private sector.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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