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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 10 April 2018) . . Page.. 1147 ..

Implementation of this new act will need to be monitored, and future changes are likely. Despite the comments made above, we are pleased to support this bill in the hope that it will bring further structure to the issue of dangerous dogs. I thank the minister for her work and that of her directorate in putting together this bill. As I have already said, it is a bit of a patchwork, but we are moving down the path of addressing the community’s concerns about dangerous dogs. With that in mind, we are happy to support this bill today.

MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (11.20): I support the bill. The ACT Greens support all efforts to improve the welfare of animals in the territory—and, of course, anywhere—and this bill represents another step towards the elimination of abuse through greyhound racing here in Canberra. The bill includes a number of provisions the ACT Greens have been calling for for some time. The new definition of “breeding” continues the important work started by my colleague Shane Rattenbury when he was TAMS minister to tackle puppy farms and exploitative dog breeding practices.

The extension of control orders to carers and keepers of dogs, not merely owners, is long overdue. We have been approached by a number of concerned citizens, activists and animal rescuers over the past few years that animal hoarders and serial abusers have been escaping prosecution by claiming to be merely looking after an animal for someone else. I imagine Minister Fitzharris and her department have heard similar concerns, and I am very pleased that they have taken clear steps to address this issue. Likewise, allowing impounded animals to be housed in animal rescue facilities will ease the burden on our pound and provide, in many cases, much more humane living environments for vulnerable animals.

I thank the minister and the department for the work on this and note, of course, the contribution of the late Mr Doszpot in bringing forward the legislation that is now being amended.

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (11.21): In the greyhound space, most of these amendments are unremarkable and, as Ms Lawder stated, the Canberra Liberals will not be opposing them. We oppose the basic premise of them and utterly and completely oppose the banning of greyhound racing in the ACT. We consider the additional red tape and duplicated bureaucracy around the keeping and training of greyhounds in the ACT is a waste of resources.

I note that in the public space there was a bit of confusion with this amendment bill in that quite a number considered that by rolling in dangerous dogs with greyhound amendments somehow the minister was suggesting that greyhounds were dangerous dogs. Far be it from me to be defending the minister’s honour on this one, but I had quite a number of conversations out at the Greyhound Racing Club putting people straight that that was not the case.

Clause 18 removes the need for a stat dec from greyhound owners regarding whether their dog is a registered racing greyhound or not, and we certainly support that in line with the government’s red tape reduction legislation amendment. But, again, I think it

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