Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 2 November 2017) . . Page.. 4923 ..
meetings involving greyhound races. The definition of “race” in the Racing Act will be amended so that it no longer includes greyhound racing.
To be clear, the amendment bills do not interfere with the ability of ACT residents to engage in or bet on greyhound racing interstate. They also preserve the ability for ACT residents to own, train or breed greyhounds for racing elsewhere. However, this will be on the basis of strict animal welfare controls and at no cost to the community.
This bill includes consequential amendments to a number of acts and regulations as a result of ending greyhound racing in the ACT. A number of these amendments are necessary to continue to allow betting on greyhound races held outside the ACT. The government is aware that ending greyhound racing in the ACT will have an impact on those people who are actively involved in the industry, and that is why we established the greyhound industry transition task force.
The task force is there to assist people and racing dogs involved in the industry to transition out of it. The task force is already accepting applications for transition support and will continue to do so until 30 June 2018. With these amendments taking effect on 30 April 2018, those in the industry will have two months from the cessation of racing in the ACT to consider their future in the industry in other jurisdictions and, if they will not be participating, to register for transition support. In addition, the government has decided to extend the availability of the $1,033,000 transition funding to allow the finalisation of transition support packages by 30 September 2018.
As a package, today’s legislation will deliver our commitment to end the greyhound racing industry. For workers in the industry, we are committed to a just and supportive transition process. Individually tailored assistance, including training, counselling and financial help is available. For animals, we are making every effort to ensure that the resources and the support that they need for rehoming are available.
The government has been unambiguous and steadfast in working to bring an end to this industry in the territory. Today’s bill gives certainty to all who are affected so that they can make an informed decision about how and when they engage with this government for support. We will continue to work with those in the industry, with the unions who represent workers and with the animal welfare organisations to implement this critical animal welfare reform. I commend the bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Parton) adjourned to the next sitting.
Domestic Animals (Racing Greyhounds) Amendment Bill 2017
Ms Fitzharris, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.
Title read by Clerk.
MS FITZHARRIS (Yerrabi—Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Minister for Transport and City Services and Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research) (3.07): I move: