Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 11 April 2018) . . Page.. 1230 ..
Most recently, Paul Wheeler, Australia’s biggest owner-breeder of greyhounds, was charged by Greyhound Racing New South Wales last month with multiple offences related to the alleged export of greyhounds to Macau. Paul Wheeler has been racing his dogs in Canberra since the 1980s. And so it can hardly be claimed that greyhound racing in the ACT has an unblemished record when the club allows trainers whose dogs have been found with drugs in their system to race at the Symonston track or does business with people who engage in the reprehensible practice of illegally exporting their dogs for a barbaric death.
Mr Parton cannot even argue anymore that the ACT greyhound industry is separate and somehow different from the New South Wales industry. The very dog that he encouraged a syndicate of people to buy through his cheap media stunt in this place is not even a Canberra dog. He was shipped in from interstate. He is trained by a New South Wales trainer. And he has raced several times at New South Wales tracks. All this continues to support the government’s and the ACT broader community’s very clear position that greyhound racing is out of step with community values, no matter what name you may give to a little black dog.
I move the amendment circulated in my name:
Omit all words after “That this Assembly”, substitute:
(a) in 2014, the ACT Government sold ACTTAB for $105.5 million as part of the Commonwealth Government’s Asset Recycling Initiative; and
(b) the ACT supports community racing and the major codes operating in the Territory through both direct budget funding and a share of race field fees;
(2) further notes that:
(a) the ACT Government has appropriated $1 million for 2017-18 towards transition support for the greyhound industry, including support for worker retraining and animal rehabilitation and rescue;
(b) the 2016 Parliamentary Agreement between Labor and the Greens recognises that the ACT has some of the highest rates of poker machines per capita of any state or territory, notes the harm that these machines can cause for vulnerable members of the ACT community, and commits to reducing the number of poker machines in the ACT to 4000 by June 2020; and
(c) the Attorney-General has recently announced the appointment of an independent expert to provide advice that will support clubs to reduce their reliance on gaming machine revenue;
(3) congratulates the ACT Government for taking strong action to ban greyhound racing in the ACT following:
(a) the revelations of widespread animal cruelty outlined in the McHugh Report; and
(b) the inextricable links between the New South Wales industry and the ACT industry identified in the Durkin Report; and