Page 5155 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 28 November 2017

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I really feel for the people in this industry and I am concerned that there could well be people in this industry who self-harm as a result of the decision that has been taken today. That will be a pretty heavy burden for some people to carry, because I believe that could well be on the cards. For some people, greyhound racing, breeding greyhounds and loving their dogs have defined who they are. But today this elitist Labor Party is taking that away. It is outrageous and it is unbecoming of the labour movement.

MR RAMSAY (Ginninderra—Attorney-General, Minister for Regulatory Services, Minister for the Arts and Community Events and Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (4.52), in reply: I am pleased to speak on the Racing (Greyhounds) Amendment Bill 2017. As I told the Assembly when I introduced the bill earlier this month, this bill and its companion, the Domestic Animals (Racing Greyhounds) Amendment Bill 2017, will give effect to the government’s commitment to end greyhound racing in the ACT.

Together, the bills provide for greyhound racing and trialling in the ACT to cease, but for the ownership, the breeding and the training of greyhounds in the ACT for racing outside this jurisdiction to continue, provided that it complies with the ACT’s strict animal welfare standards and does not come at a financial cost to the broader ACT community.

In the debate today we have again certainly seen and heard personalised attacks, scaremongering, the introduction of inaccurate and irrelevant information and arguments, delaying tactics by the opposition, mirrored by the greyhound industry and its representatives. It is something that we know happens when those opposite understand that they cannot win on the merits of the case, so they go into other areas again. It is an irresponsible argument and it is not something that the government will allow to stand.

Even today we have heard the opposition’s grip on accuracy of facts be quite strained. Let me give one of many examples. Mr Parton suggested that I said in this space that racing would continue to be legal. He does not draw to the attention of the Assembly the question that he actually asked and to which I responded. I quote Mr Parton’s question:

I have a very simple yes-no question: … will you tell the Assembly whether or not it will be legal to conduct greyhound racing in the ACT after 1 July?

That was 1 July this year. I said: “Yes.” As Mr Parton well knows, it was a very specific question for which he asked for a single word answer about a particular date. But accuracy has again given way to hyperbole and drama when it comes to the opposition spokesperson.

This bill removes from the Racing Act the legal framework for the administration and control of greyhound racing in the ACT. The Canberra Greyhound Racing Club is currently the controlling body for greyhound racing in the ACT under section 27 of the Racing Act. Under the amendment bill there will no longer be a controlling body

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