Are we going to the dogs?

A centre for greyhound racing and gambling… a supermarket Service Station on a heritage site…is this the look we want for our area?

Whether one chooses to live in a particular area because of the lifestyle, attractiveness, affordability, business opportunities, it’s a better place to retire or bring up children, or else you’re here because you were born here or grew up in the area, it is still your home and your future.

Maybe when you’ve always lived in a place you take it a bit for granted. You don’t see it through the eyes of visitors, tourists or new residents.

Sometimes one needs to stand back and take a good hard look around and value where you are and what is good or bad, what is potentially terrific and if you could wave a magic wand what would you change?

Because change happens whether we like it or not. So maybe we should participate in the inevitable. Have a say in our destiny.

There are those who shrug and say, well, what can we do about it, how can we change things here? Sure, we vote for our politicians and Council and we hand the decision making process to them. Then whinge if things don’t go the way we’d like until the next election, when, perhaps, little changes.

Then there are people who are the doers, the glass half full types, and those who can see potential and positivity.

And there are those who choose to do something about it. Brave, bold, foolhardy perhaps, but well motivated who can see the Big Picture. But they are few and far between.

Those who control power, do not relinquish it easily, nor look kindly on those with vision and ideas which may oust them from their comfortable seats.

Too often it is the mighty dollar that drives decisions. And benefits the few.

So let’s ask a few hard questions.

What’s Best for Our Area?

Do you think greyhound racing is a cruel and barbaric sport, which, according to the Humane Society International Australia, includes the killing of healthy dogs, severe injuries to the animals and the abuse of power by Greyhound Racing NSW.  It was reported that in 2015 between 13,000 and 17,000 healthy greyhounds are killed annually, and the inquiry heard that live baiting was used by up to 90% of trainers in NSW. The 2015 Annual Report by Greyhound Racing NSW says they hope to re-home just 250 dogs in 2015/16. This is despite the fact that they are spending $1,054, 672 on their Greyhound As Pets program, more than triple the amount spent in 2014/15. Only 179 dogs were re-homed as part of their program in 2014/15. Australia represents the 3rd largest greyhound racing industry in the world, with New South Wales being home to 34 of the 77 race tracks.  The industry is fraught with allegations of animal cruelty, corruption, over-breeding, and the use of illegal drugs.  On average, one greyhound dies every day on an Australian race track.  So this business is welcome in Taree?

Is encouraging more gambling, already a huge problem here, a good look for the area?

Do you believe a Greyhound “Centre of Excellence” will provide employment to the area when the majority of owners and breeders have their own trainers and staff?

What sort of people will this industry or “sport” bring to our area? Will they spend money in restaurants, shopping, or accommodation? Are they the kind of tourists we wish to encourage to our charming B&Bs, Farmstays, and developing upmarket accommodation?

What other industries/ events/ tourist attractions/businesses would you like to see developed in our area to attract visitors?

Share your thoughts.

















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