Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 14 Hansard (Tuesday, 28 November 2017) . . Page.. 5160 ..
the club was of the belief that 30 June would probably be the ban date. That was their belief. They believed that 30 June would be the date that they were closed.
The Canberra Greyhound Racing Club have commercial contracts in place with caterers, videographers, security companies, veterinary surgeons and Tabcorp. They have commercial contracts in place with Sky Channel. They have races scheduled and prize money allocated for racing dates in May and June.
Why on earth would you, just because you can, be so sadistic when cutting them off at the knees? Whatever happens, the legislation will get through. Whatever happens, the ban will come in. Why would you move the date? I just do not understand why. Who would get joy out of seeing staff losing their jobs two months earlier, pushing people to the brink of self-harm two months ahead of schedule?
I feel like the father of a son who has been sentenced to hang and I am begging for a show of two months of mercy. I believe that the government created a genuine expectation that the ban would be 30 June. Please, show some mercy; don’t bring the guillotine down until the date that you originally suggested.
MR RAMSAY (Ginninderra—Attorney-General, Minister for Regulatory Services, Minister for the Arts and Community Events and Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (5.13): Madam Deputy Speaker, the government will not be supporting Mr Parton’s amendment. The date determined for the end of the industry was selected so that it would maximise the chances that everyone who needs support to transition will engage with the task force.
We have continued to emphasise at every opportunity that the government will help workers to retrain and to get assistance, and we are absolutely committed to working directly with people in the industry and their unions to achieve that outcome. The proposal by Mr Parton is part of an irresponsible and concerted effort to deter people in the industry from engaging with the task force and to attempt to promote a change in policy by maximising their pain.
It is clear that some people in the greyhound racing industry are turning to Mr Parton and to the CGRC for guidance. They occupy a position of trust and they have used that trust to convince people that refusing to engage in transition is some way of reversing the policy. Mr Parton’s comments on this policy and this legislation have, as a whole, been both irresponsible and unhelpful. If his aim really were to help the people in the industry, he would be acknowledging that the government is firm in this policy, which we have been ever since it was announced, well before the election, and he would be using his position of trust to ensure that people get assistance.
In response to the specific claim that the government implied a date of 30 June, I would like to draw this Assembly’s attention to the following facts, again facts which seem to be beyond the grip of the spokesperson from the opposition. The Durkin report recommended ending the industry by the end of 2017, and this was made public when the government released the Durkin report.