Swifts sells up as dog track replaces footy field
THE $40 million world-first greyhound racing track destined for Purga will come at the expense of Swifts Leagues Club.
The 35ha complex at Yamanto - a one-turn track, two-turn facility and a straight track - will take the place of the main playing field at Swifts.
The QT understands Queensland Racing purchased the site for $4.5 million and contracts will be signed next month.
Swifts president Robbie Carr said they were waiting for building and development approvals but speculates it could be 18 months before the club has to move.
"That all gets finalised and the contract is from next month. There's no big rush for us to move out of the grounds just yet," he said.
"Since the contract was awarded, we've been looking at other premises with the council; we were looking at a co-op with the soccer over at Ripley.
"It'll be a bit of a transition process.
"The board, many, many years ago when they moved out to Purga, they thought it was going to be the next developing area and it would have a good junior base looking forward."
Now Mr Carr believes the Ripley area will be the catchment of the future.
"As far as the next season goes, we still can play out there but that just depends now on the insurances," he said.
"The sale has put Swifts in a good position financially for the future.
"We just have to maintain the loyal committee members and make sure the money is well looked after for that future growth of the club."
MONEY WELL SPENT ON TRACK
THE RSPCA has slammed spending $40 million on a new greyhound racing track while trainers praise its contribution to the economy.
Renowned Grandchester trainer, Tony Brett said the track is a massive boon for trainers, punters and the area in general.
"From the dog-racing side of it, there will be three state-of-the-art tracks that are going to be nice and safe and new. It will be our own facility where we don't have to work with showgrounds and trotters and things like that. It's been a dream for the past 15 years," he said.
"The greyhound industry generates a lot of jobs, not only trainers. We generate a lot of money which goes back to the government and that goes into a lot of things, the betting and totaliser side of it provides a massive tax that goes back into public spending.
RSPCA Queensland spokesman Michael Beatty said the adoption program had improved the body's stance on racing.
"But still, the RSPCA, as a body, nationally remains opposed to greyhound racing basically because of the wastage that exists in the industry," he said.