Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 11 April 2018) . . Page.. 1227 ..
self-sufficient. This was not in the government’s plan. Their intention was to cut the greyhounds off at the knees, hoping they rolled over and went away quietly. When that did not happen, Labor and the Greens teamed up once again to ban the industry in the ACT. To justify these actions, the government consistently referred to community values—although I do note that once we had a greyhound called Community Values those words were quickly removed from the vocab and the cheat sheet.
“Community values” and “community expectations” were continually referred to. They claimed that this was very clearly an election issue and the people voted for it in 2016. Of course we all know they did not. In 2016 the landscape changed so many times during the election—immediately before and immediately after. Certainly there was no evidence to back up what was said. The greyhound racing industry and participants from the Canberra Greyhound Racing Club were subject to wild accusations of animal cruelty from members in this place saying some horrendous things about Canberra's industry.
I will quote some of them: “When torture is involved there should be no second chances,” “An outdated industry that just promotes animal exploitation,” “We do not believe that this is an industry that can be reformed,” “It is not a pastime,” and “This is proof positive that the industry is unable to operate without these kinds of unacceptable animal welfare outcomes.” This is what those opposite had to say about greyhound racing. My question is this: how could any government possibly say such diabolical things about an industry and then continue to receive money from it?
As part of the sale of ACTTAB the government negotiated an ongoing payment of $1 million a year, indexed to CPI. In answer to previous questions in this chamber and in committee hearings the minister and others have asserted that this $1 million a year does not come from betting turnover. I guess the question then is this: please explain where it does come from. Does it come from the sale of freshly cut flowers? Does it come from the provision of dentistry services? Does it come from the on-selling of airline tickets? Of course it does not.
If you are receiving $1 million-plus a year, every year, from Tabcorp, it is pretty safe to say that it is coming directly from betting turnover. That is what they do at Tabcorp. That is the only thing they do. When you consider that this money was always designed to flow back to the three racing codes—indeed, until recently, I think it was divvied up 75, 12.5 and 12.5 between the three—it is very easy to draw a line between betting turnover on the three racing codes and this money. That is where the money comes from. This government has so roundly condemned greyhound racing but is continuing to profit from greyhound racing.
The anti-greyhound crowd continue to crucify me in the public space. They say that I am profiting every time the very successful greyhound Community Values wins a race in Canberra. I should point out that he has won three races. They lampoon me for deriving income from greyhound racing. I am not a member of the syndicate, so I do not have any financial interest. The only people in this place deriving income from Community Values are seated opposite. The only people getting any income from it are in here. They are all making accusations of cruelty but, to quote the Chief Minister, as a government they are “trousering the money”.