GREYHOUND Racing NSW will look at making further improvements to Taree's Kanangra Drive complex.
This follows the success of the first TAB meeting conducted at the track by the Taree club on Wednesday, June 17.
Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) chief executive Tony Mestrov was among the guests at the meeting, which has been hailed as an outstanding success.
Mr Mestrov said Greyhound Racing NSW has a significant track and infrastructure team and will continue to liaise with the Taree club regarding further upgrades to the track. He revealed GRNSW has secured $23 million in funding for the next three years for infrastructure for tracks throughout the State.
Mr Mestrov said possible improvements at Taree could include lighting and maybe a switch from a grass surface to loam.
"We really want to invest in this track for the future,'' he emphasised.
He said a loam track 'wasn't out of the question.'
"But I think grass is under-rated,'' Mr Mestov quickly added.
"I think because we've gone to loam tracks that we feel like we have to have them. But we've seen how this track raced today. We've seen in Queensland at Bundaberg and also Capalaba. They're very successful from a racing and safety point of view.
"We want to try and mix it up with other tracks for our TAB meetings. And we want the track to be safe, that's the most important thing for us.''
He confirmed that Wauchope would conduct TAB meetings in the next financial year and this will take the pressure off the Taree track.
"So we think this (the Taree surface) will hold up really well, so at this point there's no use in looking at loam,'' he said.
Taree has been racing for more than 60 years while the club has been domiciled at Kanangra Drive since 1979. Wednesday was the club's first TAB meeting
"This has been a long time coming,'' Mr Mestrov said. "We've been talking about this since 2016.
"The (GRNSW) board made a decision in January to have (TAB) racing in Taree. Originally we wanted to race over the Easter weekend but obviously with the COVID-19 we couldn't do that.
"But we're finally here.''
Mr Mestrov praised the efforts of Taree president Des McGeachie and secretary Peter Daniel on getting TAB meetings here, with the support of Member for Myall Lakes, Stephen Bromhead.
Mr Mestrov said 13 meetings have been assigned to Taree.
"The track's in magnificent order for today,'' he added.
Taree, Wauchope and Kempsey were all under consideration to hold TAB meetings.
"But the board thought Taree had the best track,'' Mr Mestrov explained.
"It was marginally ahead of Wauchope and Kempsey, so that was part of the reason.
"And you can see today why.
"But it is difficult during the COVID period as well to bring clubs up to the required biosecurity standards and we thought Taree had the structures to do that.''
Taree was once under consideration as a centre of excellence for greyhound racing on the Mid North Coast. This was before the State government decided to shut the sport down. The government eventually backed down on this threat.
Mr Mestrov said a centre of excellence remains still a possibility for Taree in the future.
"Most of our dog population is in the Mid North Coast/Hunter region,'' he pointed out.
"So we'll look at all options. But the most important thing is that the participants and the dogs are here and we want to keep developing them.''
Club president Des McGeachie added the crowd was on par with what the club would expect for a meeting held on a Saturday afternoon.
Taree races again on Wednesday July 8 and club officials expect confirmation of the other dates soon from GRNSW.
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