Page 5153 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 28 November 2017

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Our decision to cease the industry was firmly based on the McHugh report, the original report. The report found that:

… in New South Wales in the last 12 years, somewhere between 48,891 and 68,448 dogs were killed because they were considered too slow to pay their way or were unsuitable for racing.

It also included a claim from a trainer who admitted to engaging in live baiting and who said that about 10 to 20 per cent of trainers engaged in live baiting, despite its carrying heavy penalties. The industry knew there were penalties for the work that they were doing with their greyhounds but still continued to go ahead. We heard that:

… such is the culture of the industry and some of its leaders that it is no longer, if it ever was, entitled to the trust of the community … GRNSW had adopted a policy of deliberately misreporting the extent of injuries suffered by greyhounds at racetracks … it appears unlikely that the issue of the large scale killing of healthy greyhounds by the industry can be addressed successfully in the future.

As I said, our decision was based on that information and we have the Canberra community in support of this ban. They have voiced their support in public and to us. I commend Minister Ramsay for bringing forward this legislation.

MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (4.43): I imagine there are many founders of the Labor Party who, should they be around today, would be absolutely devastated by what this ACT Labor Party have become. They have become an elitist party that has abandoned the workers they were set up to represent. They are a party that champions the cause of the minority, a fringe minority, rather than mainstream Canberrans. This is a party that has become way too familiar with power. They have a born-to-rule mentality, and that is evident from their decisions today.

In its crusade to terminate the livelihoods of people in the greyhound industry, the Labor Party have not only shown contempt for those families who were largely Labor supporters but they have also shown contempt for the processes and procedures of what should be a rigorous democracy. The government spent money commissioning a survey to try to gauge people’s views on this issue. It is interesting that it is all about principle, it is all about conviction, it is all about policy; yet they also did a poll to see whether they were on the right track or not. Surely, if this were all about conviction, they would not have needed to do a poll. They would not need to know whether Canberrans are onside with them or not.

Further to this, the government refuses to actually detail the answers to these questions. I expect there is a fair chance that, in closing this debate, the minister will finally reveal these figures. But it will be interesting to note that he has left it until the eleventh hour to do so. He spent taxpayers’ money commissioning a poll to see whether they were on the money or not, yet he will not actually make those figures public, all this at a time when they say it is all about conviction, and all about policy.

This is a government that has lost its way. It is a Labor Party that is isolated in the labour movement. Every other Labor Party around the country is staying true to its

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