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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 August 2017) . . Page.. 3059 ..


MR PARTON (Brindabella) (10.41): With respect to my friend Mr Ramsay, what we have just heard is 10 minutes of absolute codswallop. Sometimes I seriously wonder whether the minister believes all of this stuff. Having known him for quite some time, I do not believe he does, which heightens my disappointment in him at the role he has played in the execution of this sport. This has always been a completely flawed and absolutely misguided policy disaster.

The minister asserted in his statement that it has been a consistent position from the government. Of course it has not been. It has flip-flopped on so many occasions. This is about elitism. We have the Labor-Greens government telling people which pastimes they are allowed to enjoy. Greyhound racing does not fit in with the Chief Minister’s vision of Canberra; it certainly does not fit in with the Greens’ vision of Canberra. The dismantling of this legitimate sport will appease the Greens and those on the left, so let us march on and do it.

Greyhound racing will not end in this region. Despite the nanny state meddling of this Labor-Greens government, the Canberra Greyhound Racing Club will survive and will continue racing in this region, whether it be at the current site at Narrabundah or over the border in Queanbeyan. When we get to the end of this process—I do not think there will be an end because it is just going to continue—nothing will have been achieved.

What this government is putting people through is nothing short of disgraceful. It is based on rumour and innuendo. The Canberra Greyhound Racing Club is a model of how greyhound racing should be run, and to shut it down for no reason is ludicrous. I have consistently asked the minister and his office to provide any details, any information, any hint of proof of any animal welfare breaches involving the Canberra Greyhound Racing Club, and there are none. They have responded time and again by telling us that there have been no breaches.

I cannot believe the minister continues to trot out these figures involving 27,000 dogs racing over five years and 26 of them suffering life-ending injuries. We are talking one-tenth of one per cent. If we are to shut down an industry over one-tenth of one per cent of animals suffering life-ending injuries then we must shut down thoroughbred racing, we must shut down harness racing and we must shut down equestrian sports. If we had 27,000 dogs running around in suburban backyards for a year I dare say the death rate for those dogs from injury would be similar.

The New South Wales greyhound industry is going through some massive changes as a consequence of the findings of the McHugh report. I know that the industry there will be much better for it. The minister has also suggested that the ACT industry is small and that New South Wales trainers represent a significant majority of participants in greyhound racing. If the government wishes to follow that line, I assume they will shut down Canberra stadium as an NRL venue because the overwhelming number of participants come from interstate, as is the case at Thoroughbred Park. And when it comes to our very large investment involvement in AFL, 100 per cent of participants come from interstate.


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