Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 11 April 2018) . . Page.. 1228 ..
The figure of a 22 per cent turnover that I included in this motion is very much a historical figure. It is extremely conservative. Twenty-two per cent is the figure that we were working on a number of years ago. I am sure that the minister knows what the current figures are. I am sure that he is aware that this sport that is, according to him, out of step with community values, is rocketing up the charts in popularity from the perspective of ACT punters. Turnover on greyhound racing in the ACT is going through the roof. I cannot believe some of the figures that I have seen in recent weeks.
Turnover on greyhound racing is going up so quickly that, as a percentage of the three racing codes, greyhound turnover has eclipsed 30 per cent for the last financial year and is set to do so for this one. Despite any rubbish surveys, despite all of the ideological rubbish that you have been spouting, out there in the real world, even here in Canberra, the punters are supporting greyhound racing more than they ever have before. The hypocrisy of both Labor and the Greens on this issue is astounding. If you so wholeheartedly believe that greyhound racing in an evil industry then renegotiate the fee. It is not unusual for members of this place to suggest that the government refuse funds from a source they believe to be unethical. It happens time and again.
In 2015 Mr Rattenbury announced a ban of junk food, alcohol, gambling, fossil fuels and weapons advertising on ACTION buses. Mr Rattenbury justified this decision at the time by saying, “Advertising on government assets needs to be in line with community expectations.” The line that you could draw from that advertising back to those fossil fuel, weapons, alcohol and gambling companies is a little more tenuous than the line that you can draw from the Tabcorp money to greyhound racing.
On a number of occasions both of our Greens colleagues have suggested that the government should review its investments in a number of sources that they believe to be unethical. These sources include a wide variety companies that provide resources and products to the ACT, such as gas and oil companies, poker machines—wow, poker machines; we do not want anything to do with them!—and a number of other things.
We have here a wild double standard. As usual, the Greens are happy to tell the government what they should or should not be doing publicly. But when it comes to being involved in making a decision they sit on their hands and they turn a blind eye. I have gone through some of Mr Ramsay’s amendments—talk about turning a blind eye! The amendment should basically say, “Nothing to see here. Look the other way.” That could summarise it exactly. How poker machines ended up in the amendment is beyond me.
Members of this place have spent months attempting to justify why this industry should not exist here in Canberra; why Canberrans should be forced out of work; why members of the AWU, which I know you Mr Assistant Speaker are well aware of, should find new employment, a new pastime; why no-one should be receiving payments for the racing of a greyhound in the ACT. Will they now back up those statements and condemn the government for taking funds derived from the racing of greyhounds? Will they now back up those statements and call on the government to renegotiate the fee or, when it gets to the amendments, will we completely ignore all talk of the fee and just talk about the ban and how wonderful we are?