Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 14 Hansard (Tuesday, 28 November 2017) . . Page.. 5159 ..
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Bill, by leave, taken as a whole.
MR PARTON (Brindabella) (5.08): I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name [see schedule 1 at page 5194].
This amendment is very simple. We obviously do not support this bill but, as shadow gaming and racing minister, I feel that I have to do my best to make a slight adjustment to what is bad legislation. At the start of this, I would not have put the amendment forward unless I had some hope that it would be adopted by at least a couple of parties here.
I understand that those on the other side are committed to closing down the greyhound racing industry in this town. I think that is plain wrong, but I understand their position. I understand that we are in opposition, which means, of course, that you guys have the numbers. Try as we might, there is a clear chance that we are not going to convince you to abandon things like this.
Although we will never in a million years vote to end the greyhound industry, I feel compelled to offer this amendment purely on the date. When the government announced that they were banning the sport of greyhound racing, they indicated a date of 30 June 2018. Although I know that since then they have relied on the semantics of language by saying that their statement six months ago was for a ban “by” 30 June 2018, the genuine expectation from all those involved was that if push came to shove, if somehow the left-wing ideologues in this place got their way, if the ban was enforced, it would be enforced on 30 June 2018.
Why would you, out of the blue, bring that date forward by two months? Semantics of language aside, the reality is that the accused believed in all of their hearts that they would be executed on 30 June 2018. This is like sentencing someone to be shot at dawn and then sneakily waking them up at one in the morning and dragging them out in the courtyard before the firing squad. Why would you do that? I just do not understand why you do that. Do we get joy out of this? Is this some sort of sadistic torture?
Furthermore, and Mr Rattenbury and I had some conversations about this, the commercial reality is that the Canberra Greyhound Racing Club—which is operating as a standalone business, without government support, which is reflective that those polling numbers on funding were completely irrelevant, because they had no government support; they are operating as a standalone business—has contracts in place until 30 June. That is for a number of reasons. First, that is the end of the financial year and the end of the racing season. Second, and much more importantly,