Page 4496 - Week 12 - Thursday, 26 October 2017

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Horseracing—Single Gaze

Greyhound racing industry

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (4.42): I wish, in the first instance, as shadow gaming and racing minister, to extend my congratulations and, I would think, the congratulations of the entire Assembly to the connections of the locally trained horse Single Gaze for running second in the Caulfield Cup and wish Nick Olive, Kathy O’Hara and all the connections—I think most of whom are in Canberra—all the best of luck as they take on the Melbourne Cup from here in Canberra, which is just awesome. Congrats to all those involved with Single Gaze.

I wish to also update the Assembly on the progress of the Community Values Syndicate. I announced it in this chamber late in the day on Tuesday. To refresh people’s memory, Mr Ramsay, the regulatory services minister, asserts that this Labor-Greens government is banning greyhound racing here in the ACT because it is out of step with community values. This is despite there being no evidence of animal welfare breaches at all involving the Greyhound Racing Club and despite the fact that there is no public money going to greyhound racing. The government will continue to receive an estimated $220,000 per year from the turnover of greyhound racing but is not directing a single cent to the sport. It is all about community values but there does not seem to be any evidence around to suggest that greyhound racing is out of step with community values.

In the interests of providing clarity and in the interests of assisting the minister on assessing community perceptions towards greyhound racing I announced the opening of the Community Values Syndicate two days ago. The syndicate will race a greyhound in this region. He is adorable. He does not have a racing name as yet. We call him Nugget. He is as black as night and he loves cuddles and watching TV on the lounge. We call him Nugget because he looks like black shoe polish in the shape of a dog—$300 per share, 20 available.

Surely when you consider the minister’s assertions that greyhound racing is out of step with community values the syndicate was going struggle to find those 20 people to put their money where their mouth is. It took less than an hour for Tania, the syndicate manager, to fill the 20 places. My information is that 100 places could have been found.

This is the sort of response that we got from those putting their hand up. This is an email from one of those:

I am 100% on board—never owned a greyhound, never been interested in greyhound racing.

However, totally against what the ACT government has done in this instance and the way they’ve gone about it. I suppose like many others, I’ve been one of the silent majority right behind you guys but sitting on the fence. The clincher yesterday was listening to the Union guy on radio, weaselling his way out of doing anything substantial for the workers in the greyhound industry.

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