The NSW Greyhound Racing Industry Alliance has vowed to explore every possible opportunity to overturn the ban on NSW greyhound racing that passed into legislation in the NSW Parliament early this morning.
“The greyhound racing industry across NSW is, of course, devastated by last night’s vote in Parliament,” said Brenton Scott, Chief Executive, NSW Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers’ Association (GBOTA).
“However, we will continue to pursue all legal avenues to challenge this ban. The fight does not stop here.
“We are angry and disappointed that this ban was passed at 4am in the morning and in our opinion, this decision was made based on party politics rather than full consideration of the impact of the ban and proper investigation into the accuracy of the report produced by the special commission of inquiry.
“Fifteen thousand participants and ten thousand casual or permanent employees will have their lives and lifestyles dramatically impacted by this decision and, in many cases, destroyed.
“It is simply unacceptable that the legislation has passed when a reform plan, inclusive of world leading animal welfare standards to which the industry could be held to account, was placed before the Premier as an effective alternative.
“We were ambushed on July 7 with the Premier’s shock initial announcement, one that came without industry consultation. Since then we have given the Premier every chance to deal with us in an open and direct manner and we are shattered that he has instead demonised and criminalised an entire industry.
“The McHugh Report, despite its factual flaws, provided 79 of 80 recommendations that would allow the NSW greyhound industry to continue the reform so effectively implemented during the past 15 months. Instead of supporting this logical approach, the Premier has applied collective punishment to all industry stakeholders, rather than focussing on the small minority which were failing our great sport.
“We believe the process has been unfair and it calls into question the decision making procedures in this State. If this had been a conscience vote, I am confident that there would have been a very different result.
“We thank those politicians that did listen to their constituents and showed their support for our industry and basic democratic rights, by crossing the floor. The number of speakers opposed to the ban is clear evidence of the swing in public and political sentiment.
“Animal cruelty has no place in society, and certainly no place in the greyhound industry, and this was being addressed by reform that included world leading regulation, supervision and animal welfare and the general public understands this.
The decent, hard-working, law abiding stakeholders in the industry have not been given a fair go… that’s simply un Australian treatment from a lazy Government.
“We will continue to fight through legal channels but at the same time we need work to ensure that any transition plans are fair. Compensation was excluded from the legislation and we have a three month period to negotiate this as financial assistance will be critical to thousands of families across the state. We will be holding the Government to its obligations.”