Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 11 April 2018) . . Page.. 1238 ..
MR PARTON (Brindabella) (11.40): Not many surprises from this government in this space, and these amendments are not surprising in the least. Where did the poker machines come from again? I still do not really understand how the poker machines ended up in there, but whatever. Why are we inserting poker machines into the motion when it has absolutely nothing to do with the original motion? The placement of poker machines into the amendment basically says that the government has nothing to say in this place.
The minister questioned my figures, and I will repeat them for him so that he can go off and do his research. I can categorically say that, as a percentage of the three betting codes in the ACT, turnover on greyhound racing was 32 per cent in the last financial year. My understanding is that it will be similar in this financial year.
We heard from the minister that two dogs have met with fatal injuries since the ban was announced. Two dogs out of how many? A thousand? Honestly, I would love to know how many dogs in total, of all breeds across the whole of the ACT, have been put down from injuries in that time. When those opposite were trying to justify this absurd ban, they quoted the figures of the number of dogs destroyed over a number of years, and the figures, when you scope them out, turned out to be one in every thousand. I dare you to show me any vigorous outdoor exercise involving dogs—bear in mind that we are talking here about a breed of dog that was bred to run as fast as it possibly can; greyhounds are at their happiest when they are running as fast as they can—or any other animal for that matter, that could not lead potentially to serious injuries for those animals involved.
I would love to see the injury rates in equestrian eventing, thoroughbred racing, harness racing, and many others. And when I say that, I am not suggesting that we should shut those activities down, because the animals involved in it relish in it. The Australian Veterinary Association have indicated that they are of the belief that the greyhound ban in the ACT will have adverse animal welfare outcomes for greyhounds in the ACT. I thought this was about animal welfare. It is not at all, is it? It is not about animal welfare at all; it has got nothing to do with it. The Australian Veterinary Association has declared there will be adverse animal welfare outcomes for greyhounds, and I can understand why.
I do not have any ownership of the people’s dog, Community Values, but I classify Nugget as a canine friend of mine. He is a gorgeous dog. Like all the members of the syndicate, I love him to bits. When this dog arrives at the track, he is jumping out of his skin. When his trainer, Lesley, walks him on the track prior to a race, she has to have him on a ridiculously short leash because he just wants to go. He is genuinely excited. His tail is wagging so ridiculously hard that you fear he is going to take off from the back end. The thing that Nugget enjoys more than anything else in the world is running as fast as he possibly can. After his race he is as happy as a soul could be.
Let me tell you, if you could talk fluent dog, if Mr Ramsay for argument’s sake could talk fluent dog language and if he could come out to the Canberra Greyhound Racing Club and talk to the great Community Values immediately after he races on Sunday night and say to Nugget, “Hey buddy, that’s it. You’re not allowed to do this anymore because it’s cruel to you, and I’m the one responsible for stopping them from being so