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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 August 2017) . . Page.. 3056 ..

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Greyhound racing industry

Ministerial statement

MR RAMSAY (Ginninderra—Attorney-General, Minister for Regulatory Services, Minister for the Arts and Community Events and Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (10.31): Members would be aware that in July 2016 the Chief Minister announced that the ACT would end greyhound racing in the territory, following the report of the special commission of inquiry into the greyhound racing industry in New South Wales. We have been clear and consistent in our position for over a year now and, as I confirmed in June this year, the government remains committed to ending the greyhound racing industry in the territory. This is in line with community values and expectations.

The closure of greyhound racing will happen through a process of transition that will be complete by 30 June 2018. That means that in ten months time the commitment to end this industry in Canberra will be fully realised. I will shortly introduce in this place legislation to end greyhound trialling and racing in the ACT in order to facilitate the appropriate transition by 30 June 2018. We are focused at this point on ending greyhound racing in the territory, but the government also intends to examine the regulation of breeding and training of greyhounds in the ACT to determine if those measures require strengthening. Breeding and training practices in relation to greyhounds will be carefully monitored over the next two years to identify the future of these practices in the ACT.

Members will recall that I released Mary Durkin’s report Greyhound Racing Industry Transition Options Analysis in June, and it made specific recommendations to the ACT government about how to transition out of greyhound racing in the territory. The decision to end the industry in the ACT had already been made when this report was commissioned, and Ms Durkin was tasked with considering how the transition could best be managed. She made sensible recommendations which the government has accepted.

Ms Durkin brought together contextual information, such as feedback from relevant stakeholders, with research and the New South Wales experience. Her report provides valuable data, knowledge and analysis that are now informing the government’s approach to industry transition. Both the Durkin report and the New South Wales special commission of inquiry that preceded it show that this is a dangerous sport for greyhounds. There have already been far too many injuries suffered, ranging from minor injuries to animals being euthanised after races.

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