North West harness and greyhound track update

Wednesday 20 April 2022

As part of the process to submit a Development Application (DA) for the development of harness and greyhound racing facilities at the preferred Palmers Road Latrobe site, Tasracing conducted a number of civil engineering, electrical, hydraulic, traffic, noise, light and environmental investigations.

The environmental, or, Natural Values Assessment on the Latrobe site identified a number of issues including a critically endangered Black Gum forest and woodland community.

The 72-page Natural Values Assessment from ECOTas identifies the following:

  1. Whilst the Eucalyptus ovata (Black Gum) is not a threatened species the vegetation community encompassed by it is a “high priority for conservation management” under both State and Federal Conservation Acts.
  2. This vegetation community is a potential foraging habitat for the swift parrot.
  3. A species of burrowing crayfish that whilst it is not endangered or on a protection list, is one that has not been previously identified.

Unfortunately, the track design is such that it cuts straight through the vegetation community. Any proposal that does this would require formal referral to the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBCA).

Tasracing would require formal advice from the Forest Practices Authority on the application of “exceptional circumstances”, the need for a Forest Practices Plan and the interaction of the Tasmanian Forest Practices Act 1985 and associated Forest Practices Regulations 2017 with other legislation, most notably the Tasmanian Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993.

ECOTas has advised Tasracing to avoid disturbing the vegetation community at all costs.

To avoid disturbing the area,  a 20m to 30m corridor or protection zone would be required between the race track and the vegetation.

Tasracing has investigated a number of options for positioning the tracks on the site and there is no way this can be achieved without impacting the vegetation community.

Tasracing holds the view that the vegetation community should be preserved and, as such, Tasracing in consultation with the Tasmanian Government has resolved to cease work at the Palmers Road Latrobe site.

Tasracing will continue to investigate alternate sites in the North West to construct harness and greyhound racing facilities to support the racing industry in the North West.

Tasracing will update participants as soon as more information comes to hand.

View the Tasracing Media Release regarding the Palmers Road Latrobe site here.