THE Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party has condemned NSW Premier Mike Baird and Deputy Premier and Minister for Racing Troy Grant after their legislation to ban greyhound racing passed through the NSW Lower House in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Robert Borsak, who represents the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party in the NSW Legislative Council said the ban will have far reaching effects across the country.
“This ban engineered by Mike Baird and Troy Grant has given The Greens the ammunition they need to start a national campaign against greyhound racing – which they are launching with controversial Senator Lee Rhiannon today in Canberra,” Mr Borsak said.
“I’m sure that Baird’s ban is part of a pay-off for The Greens’ support of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s ill-considered Senate voting reforms.
“Since the Nationals and Liberals have chosen to side with The Greens and alienate their conservative base and rural areas, the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party will be fighting the ban in New South Wales. We won’t stop!”
Borsak was critical of the NSW Nationals Party, who form part of the Coalition government, who he believes have sold out their regional constituents by supporting the ban.
“The Nationals have become lazy when it comes to representing regional communities because in most seats there has not been an electable alternative competing against them. That will now change.
“We will campaign against The Nationals in the Orange By-Election, and will be targeting all National Party seats, and some held by the Liberal Party, at the 2019 NSW election.
“Where the Nationals have failed to stand up for rural areas, we will succeed.”
With three members of the National Party crossing the floor and two Liberal MPs abstaining from the vote on Wednesday morning, Borsak hinted that the leadership of both parties should now be called into question.
He said the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party will continue to advocate for the survival and reform of NSW greyhound racing and will work with any like-minded parties of government.
“With Mike Baird and Troy Grant’s leadership now on the rocks after last night’s greyhound racing ban, and the possibility that both may be rolled by their respective parties, there is still a chance for the Liberal and National Parties to atone for their actions and repeal the ban under a new leader.
“The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party will work alongside anyone that is actively working to reinstate the greyhound racing industry after this unfair ban of an industry that was doing the right thing.”
The announcement by the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party to go up against all National MPs at the next election comes as the greyhound industry itself has announced plans to form its own party in response to the ban.
Dubbed the Australian Sport and Racing Party, the ASRP was founded by trainer Ray Pitstock and will focus on overturning the ban, while also providing a voice for all codes of racing and sports who believe their industries are misrepresented within the government.
“The party is for all people who feel as though we have been given a raw deal and don’t want the same thing to happen to their industry,” Pitstock told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“It’s totally un-Australian…there are a lot of people affected here. It will end up affecting about 30,000 – 40,000 people once the whole thing comes into effect.
“So many people rely on the industry and it gives a lot of people – especially the elderly – a reason to get up in the morning.
“What will these people have to live for once it’s been taken away?”