Wheeler says his family will not move interstate if ban happens

HYDE Park turned into a sea of yellow on Tuesday as over 2000 greyhound racing participants and supporters flocked to Sydney from all over Australia to show their support for the industry.

From Victoria, all regions of New South Wales and right up to Queensland, people stood in unison, fighting for the same cause – to see the sport continue into the future.

Australia’s largest greyhound breeder and owner, Paul Wheeler, said his family will not be relocating interstate if the proposed legislation to ban greyhound racing is passed through the New South Wales Parliament.

Speaking at the rally, Wheeler expressed his frustration over the decision, announced by Premier Mike Baird and Deputy Premier Troy Grant, that the sport will be outlawed within the state as of July 1, 2017.

“We started off the same as everyone else, just as a hobby, just as something to do,” Wheeler said.

“We started off with cast offs and giveaways and eventually we built it into a business in the early 70s.

“I left school when I was 15 – I have done nothing else the rest of my life… I don’t know what I am going to do.

“We will have to get out of the industry like everyone else, Wheeler greyhounds will not be establishing in another state – it will be the finish of us.”

Several business owners, including pet food suppliers, who depend on the industry for the majority of their business were at the rally to show support for the sport which sustains their lives.

“My husband and I have never owned or trained a greyhound, but Mr Baird has decided that as of July next year he’s going to take away our family legacy and he’s going to put us on the unemployment line, along with all our staff,” Bec Pace, who owns a meat supply company, told the crowd.

Also among the speakers were several trainers, including Dean Swain and Mark Gatt, while Fred Nile from the Christian Democrat Party and Robert Borsak from the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party also showed their support for the industry.

But no person got as much of a reaction as the NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley, who told the emotional gathering that the Labor Party will support the good people of the greyhound racing industry and will fight for their rights.

“I am totally opposed to Mr Baird’s shutdown of your industry and I and my labor colleagues will fight inside and outside of parliament against this shutdown,” Foley said to a cheering crowd.

“Mr Baird’s announcement on social media without a jot of conversation or discussion with the thousands of good men and women within the sport of greyhound racing is a tyrannical measure masquerading as a humane gesture.

“Mr Baird’s plan is one that will inevitably result in the slaughter of thousands and thousands of beloved greyhounds.

“He will have to engage a crematorium because the greyhound carcasses will be piled sky high and they will have to burn them – this is his plan for animal welfare

“What I find most objectionable here, what I find utterly offensive, is the Premier’s disparagement of thousands of people who love their animals, seeking to make them pariahs – this is unacceptable in a democracy.

“Everything I have heard only strengthens my faith that there are so many good men and women in this industry that we shouldn’t give up on it.

“Your regulator has let you down. The regulator is a government appointed body – if there has been acts of animal cruelty then that is a failure of the government to provide the laws, the resources, the supervision, the oversight to make sure it is stamped out.

“The government is happy to take the taxes but not provide the oversight which everyone has been calling for.”

It is unknown precisely when the government will introduce its legislation to ban the sport of greyhound racing before the Parliament, however Foley indicated it is likely to happen within the next week.

On a personal level, I have never been so pleased to be a part of this great industry than standing side by side other trainers in Sydney today.

To see people overcome with emotion, crying and embracing one another was simply incredible.

These were people at breaking point, having been heartbroken by a heavy handed government with no concern for thousands of good, honest people whose lives have now been ruined.

While it is uncertain what the future holds for greyhound racing, everyone can be proud that we have united and stood up for the industry we love.

Past Discussion

  1. Activists and lobbyists are a tool, they’re just being used up.

    It’s always about the money. First there’s the real estate and second there’s the punting dollar. I wonder who wants all of that?

  2. yes I know it is hard to laugh at. but the crap spoken and written and the lies and tricks by the opposition,well,one just has to have a belly laugh.

    even the blind can see the ridiculous corruption attached to the opposition.

    wouldn’t ya like to be a fly on the wall of BAIRDS office……….what scam would he be drawing up to get his arse out of this corruption………..another one to the CV mike baird.

    well put together.

  3. Paul Wheeler … just one of the battlers to suffer in all this … remind me again what his bank balance is? I think he’ll be alright.

  4. DaveSampson75  Dave no-one in the greyhound industry has described Wheeler as a battler and he is not representative of most participants. What is it about you AA people first we are bogans in tracksuits and now we are people with huge bank balances – make up your mind Dave

  5. DaveSampson75 sssshhhhh tax man watching.

    Davey me boy.

    whisper from afar is that the reason why BAIRD & AA and now FRED BARTONS stuck his nose on here, don’t want the industry to continue is this;

    THEY KNOW IT IS REFORMABLE….ALREADY SHOWING POSITIVE EARLY SIGNS OF REFORM………….

    hence why they are rushing it through parliament. if it fails there,they are done for because it will never get looked at again…the AGENDA that is.

    cant stop a business that is adhering to all the rules…………….the dumb f…. think we are bogans.tsk,tsk.

  6. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3521036/NSW-Premier-Mike-Baird-pleads-staff-not-embarrass-social-media.html

    OH MY GOD…(my god,not BAIRDS) this premier has lost it,and his mental stability it appears.

    have a real good  PERVEat his tweeter posting in this article ASKING HIS MEDIA OFFICE HOW/WHAT SHOULD HE SAY TO THE BRUSSELS BOMBING RECENTLY.

    now read it carefully.

    here is the COMPASSIONATE PREMIER OF NEW SOUTH WALES SEEKING WHAT TO SAY ABOUT THAT INCIDENT.THEY TELL HIM,AND HE SENDS IT THROUGH TO HIS ACCOUNT……………..BUT FORGETS TO CLEAR THE MESSAGE ASKING WHAT SHOULD HE SAY………LOL.

    HE DELETES IT WITHIN AN HOUR……..TO LATE. PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD HARD COPIED IT…………..THIS IS THE GUY WHO IS SHUTTING DOWN THE INDUSTRY…..HE IS HANGING HIMSELF BECAUSE I HAVE SAID,HE IS TO IMMATURE AND NOT POLITICS SAVVY….HE IS GETTING EATEN ALIVE.

    A PREMIER,A POSSIBLE MINISTER OF THE CHURCH,ASKING A SIMPLE QUESTION AND HOW CAN HE SHOW THE WORLD,THE WORLD,HE IS A COMPASSIONATE MAN.

    HE TELLS HIS STAFF NOT TO EMBARASS HIM……..DID A BLOODY GOOD JOB OF THAT ON HIS OWN.

    THE FREEKING GOOSE HAS TO BE TOLD WHAT TO SAY IN A SITUATION LIKE THAT? AND HE WANTS TO BE A RULER? THIS IS EMBARASSING FOR HIM,BUT US AS A NATION,WE HAVE TO TOLERATE THIS EGOTIST TWITTER/TWEETER FREAK…………ANY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD WHERE THE HEAD OF THE COUNTRY DOES HIS BUSINESS ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

    COULD HAVE TOLD HIM DONT BOTHER.

  7. Moving….

    Its people like Paul Wheeler that brought this industry down from the inside..I’m sure all his dogs live happily ever after..*Sarcasm… And Robert Borsak? If he had done a proper job of the inquiry he was chair of i 2013 you wouldn’t all be up creek and looking for paddles…and he’s LEADING your march?

  8. AaronC_NZ  just when I thought you had moved yourself to the Telegraph opinion poll and were pontificating over on that site – back you come like a Herpes simplex virus.

  9. DaveSampson75 Why would Paul Wheeler feel the need to relocate to another state? He’s already made his millions out of the dogs. 

    Of course, he’ll be the first to complain that he can’t afford to feed the dogs he “loves” and will have to kill them. ‘Cause that’s how the industry rolls.

  10. Deborah555 dogem53 A PREMIER HAS TO SEEK OUT CONFIDANTES IN WHAT TO SAY?

    AND ON SUCH A DISASTER,HE SOUGHT OUT ADVICE WHAT TO SAY…….JEEPERS,CREEPERS,THE RUMORS OF HIM BEING ABSORBED IN A CERTAIN MAYORAL BATTLE FOR COMPLETE SYDNEY CITY TAKEOVER JUST MAYBE ON THE BALL………HE AND ABBOTT AND ABBOTTS SISTER,AND BAIRDS MATES………WHEN DOES IT END?

    I SAID 2 WEEKS AGO,WENTY PARK WILL NOT BE A ”PEOPLES GREEN PATCH”…WITH THE EVIDENCE MOUNTING ABOUT THE CURRENT MAYOR BEING SWAMPED BY BAIRDS INNERS,AND WHAT WILL EVENTUALLY TAKE PLACE,IS GATHERING MOMENTUM.

    SO REGARDLESS OF WHAT OUR FIGHT IS ABOUT,UNLESS OTHER PARLIAMENTARIANS WAKE UP TO BAIRDS MARAUDERS,THE ENTIRE STATE IS IN SERIOUS TROUBLE……….always more to than meets the eye,always.

  11. The Greyhounds will struggle under breeding regulations.

    While the regulators of the Greyhound Industry are in the hands of the advice from the Anti influence bodies such as the RSPCA and others.

    Trouble will be the end result.

  12. Lenchopper  I think we as an industry can solve the problem -breeding rates were reduced by 50% last year without the certain people you mentioned.

  13. JeffWhite4 DaveSampson75  Well so far hundred of others are complaining about the ban and this appears to be his first comment. So your “first to complain” statement appears to be inaccurate.

  14. JeffWhite4 DaveSampson75  Wheeler and the no more than 30 top trainers who do make serious money from the dogs are not representative of the entire industry.

  15. Lenchopper ……looking at it from a logistical point of view,i cannot see breeding at even todays rate,being a problem to the industry.

    I have bred,i see many breed, and I see many breed purely for resale.

    breeding is an art,and a pathway to future success. the wrong reasons are used by many.not foundation building,just a quick turn-over.we need to drop that type of breeder,and I know some are heavy handed on WHEELER and a couple of others,but his QUALITY is superior to many who try. cannot hang a man for that,in being a bloody good breeder,with very good blood lines.

    so we can slow breeding down,eradicate that breeder whose sole aim is just get a quick buck(????? yes I know what some think here)and I have made my opinions on closures of some tracks and re-structuring the ZONES so that outer areas do not suffer greatly,and the obvious riddance of those who don’t want to play the game and abuse the system and the industry by drugging etc;,this industry will survive.

    remember to, if aLL STATES ARE UNDER STRICT BREEDING RULES, AND NUMBERS DO DROP,PROVIDING GRNSW COP THERE FARE SHARE OF TURNOVER PERCENTAGE,MANY DOGS THAT ARE MOVED TO VICTORIA TO BE TRAINED,WILL STAY PUT. BUT THE RULES ON PERCENTAGE HANDOUT NEED TO ALSO BE ALTERED SO THE FAIR SHARE HELPS IMPROVE NSW’s SITUATION IN PRIZEMONEY ETC;

    JMO.

  16. Great to see a large crowd and so much support at the greyhound rally in Hyde Park on a weekday when many people would not have been able to attend due to work commitments,  this just demonstrates the wide community support for greyhound racing and that Baird has sided sided with Animal Activists and Greens on this.

    Baird you have got this decision to ban the whole greyhound industry in NSW utterly wrong.

  17. Deborah555 JeffWhite4 DaveSampson75 Wrong again Deborah. Wheeler was one of the first to squawk, telling The Australian on July 26 that 15,000 to 20,000 greyhounds in NSW would have to be “euthanized” — by the same industry that tries to pretend that 55.4% of all its dogs are retained by their owners and trainers or are rehomed after their racing days are over (Source: National Greyhound Racing United). 

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/greyhound-rego-spike-comes-after-aid-package-announced/news-story/d15571bcfcfc43254a19d93ac065f43f

  18. Deborah555 I agree. The vast majority of the industry are hobbyists, who have actual jobs. They’ll have to find another hobby. But they have no excuse for not being able to afford to feed their dogs. 

  19. JeffWhite4 Deborah555 DaveSampson75  What is it about the anti racing rent a crowd. I am right you are wrong and I will cut and paste an internet address to prove how right I am.  Lazy both academically and morally.

  20. JeffWhite4 Deborah555  I am sorry Jeff but I do not agree, I can afford to feed my dogs because I am a lucky person with enough money to do so. I will never condemn some-one who is reliant on the income from his dogs to feed his dependent wife and kids and the other dogs from race money- who has to make hard choices. Unlike you who appears to have a very comfortable existence and uses this luck( and that’s 90% of a good life) to pontificate from high and refer to people doing it tough as bogans.

    You do not care about greyhounds you are obviously some self opinionated snob who is using this debate to prove (probably to yourself) how socially superior you are.