Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 10 May 2018) . . Page.. 1797 ..

is on making sure that we get this work done and that we rectify the concerns that have been identified.

What I can say—and I have said this publicly and I will say it again here—is that the adult mental health unit is still the safest place in Canberra for someone to be if they are having a serious mental health crisis. Whilst some physical concerns have been identified, the safety of people and the care of people are not solely determined by the physical environment. Obviously, we have staff there. A range of protocols are in place to ensure the safety of individuals. That goes to things such as regular staff rounds and the frequency of observations made of individuals. Those sorts of things change based on the understanding of risk of an individual.

It is still fair to say this is a very safe environment. But what the report has identified is that further improvements can be made to the physical infrastructure of the facility to improve safety for patients going forward.

Greyhound racing—government policy

MS CHEYNE: My question is to the Minister for Regulatory Services, who has responsibility for gaming and racing. Minister, can you update the Assembly on the status of the ban on greyhound racing?

MR RAMSAY: I thank Ms Cheyne for the question and for her interest in dog welfare. As of 30 April, it is now illegal to race or trial greyhounds in the ACT. The maximum penalty for undertaking these activities is $15,000, one year of imprisonment, or both. We will be taking a zero tolerance approach to these activities. As we know, they come with a high risk of injury to the dogs involved.

We also know that those who come and race in the ACT do so from jurisdictions where there is a demonstrated record of animal welfare breaches, such as doping and live bating. We will not allow a sport to continue here which rewards such behaviours.

The changes also make it illegal to bet on a greyhound race held in the ACT, with those arranging or receiving proceeds from the gambling, and those owning the place it is conducted, being subjected to maximum penalties of $15,000 or a year in jail. The maximum penalty for participation in illegal gambling on greyhound racing is $7½ thousand.

We have been clear about why the ban has been introduced. The New South Wales greyhound industry has demonstrated systemic failures in its animal welfare. The ACT cannot allow a sport to continue where people who repeatedly breach animal welfare laws are allowed to cross the border and race here in the ACT.

MS CHEYNE: Minister, how will the greyhound racing ban improve animal welfare in the ACT?

MR RAMSAY: I thank Ms Cheyne for the supplementary question. While we have banned the racing and the trialling of greyhounds in the ACT, it will still remain

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video