The NSW coalition government is facing an internal revolt over its move to shut down the greyhound racing industry.
The NSW Nationals appear to be at odds over the contentious ban, with some members including Cootamundra MP Katrina Hodgkinson saying it will hurt regional communities.
Federal MPs have also been drawn into the debate with Nationals leader and deputy PM Barnaby Joyce being urged to do more for the regional communities who depend on the industry.
Premier Mike Baird and Nationals leader Troy Grant’s move to announce the measure last week without consulting National Party members was ill-advised, Ms Hodgkinson says.
“It was a complete shock decision made purely by those members of cabinet,” she told AAP on Monday.
The member for Cootamundra urged Mr Baird to allow for a conscience vote when legislation is introduced to parliament next month.
NSW Labor senator Sam Dastyari called for a full senate inquiry into the economic impacts of the ban – a move supported by federal Labor leader Bill Shorten.
State Opposition Leader Luke Foley meanwhile says Labor will join forces with the Shooters Fishers and Farmers party and Christian Democrat Fred Nile to oppose the legislation when it’s introduced.
“Stand up for the battler, stand up for communities throughout regional NSW for whom the sport of greyhound racing is a cultural institution,” Mr Foley said.
Mr Grant said the issue would be debated in parliament.
“The call for a senate inquiry is a shameful and cynical stunt … that will hold out false hope to affected people in the industry, (and) to whom we will offer an assistance package,” he told AAP on Monday.
The government’s shock announcement last week came after a Special Commission of Inquiry report found ‘chilling’ evidence of animal cruelty within the industry, including live baiting and mass killings.