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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 14 Hansard (Tuesday, 28 November 2017) . . Page.. 5150 ..

When torture is involved there should be no second chances. We in the ACT cannot turn a blind eye. The ACT government’s subsidy to the greyhound industry, a subsidy of $1 million, has been redirected to help people transition out of the industry. With these bills today, greyhound racing will be banned in the ACT. To do anything less would be inconsistent with the expectations of the ACT community.

The outcomes of these bills today are threefold: they remove the legal and administrative basis from greyhound racing in the ACT; they will proscribe greyhound racing and trialling; and they will place controls on those who continue to own, breed or train racing greyhounds in the territory. These measures are proportionate and justified to ensure that animal welfare is protected in our territory. We are not turning our back on Canberrans who are currently involved in greyhound racing. We have taken active steps to establish a transition program which is overseen by the new greyhound industry transition task force.

The transition program includes transition support packages to help people and businesses exit the greyhound industry. These packages comprise elements to provide emotional support, training opportunities and financial support, all issues that Mr Parton raised, to give people meaningful options when it comes to redirecting their career paths.

A person or business transition support package could include a combination of counselling, subsidised places in training programs, short-term financial support, subsidised assistance in business planning, specialised assistance about future career and financial options and no-interest loans. The packages will be tailored to the needs of each applicant to give them the best opportunity of finding new, fulfilling work options.

For the 70-odd active participants in the greyhound industry in the ACT this may be a very tough time. I recognise that. For those who have always acted according to the law, it is a great shame that some in the industry showed the greatest cruelty and violence towards the animals entrusted to their care.

This is and always has been an animal welfare matter. I commend the government for showing great leadership, even when other jurisdictions turned their back, and for showing integrity in taking these difficult steps to ensure that the wellbeing of animals in the ACT is protected. I commend these bills to the Assembly.

MRS JONES (Murrumbidgee) (4.34): Yesterday it was my privilege to stand alongside decent, law abiding Canberrans who are part of Canberra’s greyhound industry. Unlike any single member opposite, I was proud to stand side by side with the AWU which represents these decent people of our city, some of whose families have lived in Canberra since before this city was named.

Most of these people do not have a posh voice or a university degree. Their work and their passion is greyhounds. So what? Some of them give up the couch for the greyhounds to sleep on and woe betide anybody who comes between them and their dogs.

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