"Dead Set Insane!" Dart Laments Border Closure

PREMIER greyhound trainer John Dart was reeling today after Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk shut down the state border from Saturday.

David Brasch

5 August 2020

PREMIER northern New South Wales greyhound trainer John Dart is reeling after Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced she was again shutting down the state’s border from Saturday.

“She is dead-set insane,” said Dart.

“She’s mad. It is nothing more than a political move … that’s all it is.”

Dart, whose kennel is based near Murwillumbah, has 15 dogs in training and a number of youngsters being educated.

He was overjoyed when the state border was opened some weeks ago to allow him to again race regularly at Albion Park.

Dart freely admits the border closure and the fact he could not race his kennel at Albion park in search of higher prizemoney had hugely affected his business.

“And, now she’s done it again and this time for no reason that I can see,” he said.

“There was one case (of COVID-19) announced today and that was in Ipswich and that was the Queensland state government’s own fault!”

Dart laments that he has spent the past three weeks building up his racing team from 400m sprints to the 520m required to be competitive at Albion Park.

“I’ll give you one example of what it means just to my kennel,” he said.

“I finished second at Albion Park on Monday night and earned much more than I would for finishing in the same place at Lismore. If I did that three or four times a week, which is not beyond my kennel, it is a loss of $1000 a week, or to be more precise $50,000 a year.

“Who wants to be down $50,000 a year?

“Why wouldn’t I blow up about it? And, can anyone tell me how long it will last?

“She’s shut the border to NSW and ACT residents. There is not even an active case in the ACT!”

Word out of Racing Queensland (RQ) is that nominations from interstate trainers will continue to be accepted but the practicalities of facilitating the movement of greyhounds cross-border will prove problematic at best.