THE greyhound racing industry is determined to keep the pressure on the New South Wales Premier at an all time high as Mike Baird continues to back his plan to outlaw the sport within the state.
Following a rally on Tuesday where over 2,500 participants flocked to Hyde Park and marched to Parliament house, Baird met with representatives from the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party as well as the Christian Democrat Party on Wednesday morning to discuss the future of the industry.
However, Rev. Fred Nile from the Christian Democratic Party said Baird’s attitude was steadfast.
“Very disappointing…he seems to have made a decision and he isn’t going to back down on what he has announced,” Nile said on 2GB.
“We just have to keep the pressure on him and I’ll move in the Parliament to establish a greyhound industry oversight committee from both houses of Parliament.
“I think he has been emotionally affected by that Four Corner’s ABC program – that’s all he kept talking about.
“We want to clean the industry up – stop the live baiting.
“We won’t give up.”
Despite the disappointment, Brenton Scott, CEO of the NSW Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association said Tuesday’s rally was beneficial both as a means of protesting the ban and allowing participants to come together and support each other.
“The rally gave participants the opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder and share their pain and frustration for what has been a profoundly unfair decision,” Scott told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“It also allowed them to send the fundamental message that a large group of good, decent, law abiding people who have done not one thing wrong are paying the penalty for the actions of a very small minority.
“I think that was expressed elegantly and at the same time strongly.
“It was an important exercise both in terms of its message and the support that participants were able to provide for one another.”
Scott said while the Premier is refusing to budge on his judgement, it is positive to see so many MPs join together to fight the ban in unison with the industry.
“It is extremely encouraging that the number of politicians from all parties represented in the parliament are prepared to sit back and acknowledge that there are question marks all over this decision.
“You have got parties like the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers and the Christian Democrats forming an unlikely coalition, coming from different ideologies and yet they share the same principals and think that this industry needs to be treated fairly.
“You also have the break out positions from within both the Liberal and National parties that are saying they are not convinced that this has been a fair process.
“We must take heart in the fact that so many people with differing political backgrounds are seeing that this decision isn’t fair…particularly when there is an alternative in place.
“No one is saying that there aren’t issues that we have to deal with, but everybody recognises that the industry has commenced change and that the industry can be held to account and they see that’s the role of the government – not to pre-judge an industry’s capacity to change.”