ROBERT Borsak says the New South Wales Government should be looking to repeal its controversial greyhound racing prohibition bill prior to the Orange by-election on November 12.
The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party MLC made the call after Upper House National Party Leader Duncan Gaye conceded last week it is not scheduled to happen until the first session of Parliament in 2017.
“What that says to me is that they made a lot of this up on the run,” Borsak told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“What they would do is repeal the prohibition bill and they could very easily re-install the old bill, the 2009 Act.
“Obviously, they still have to have a mechanism to manage the industry, but if they brought the 2009 bill back and appointed an interim board they could very easily do it.
“That would give certainty to a lot of people who are quite worried about why the government isn’t actually repealing the bill now.”
Borsak said the Greyhound Industry Reform Panel provides the government with a good opportunity to meet with the industry on a level playing field, however he said the industry still needs to be wary moving forward.
“I think the industry always has to be wary, I’m not convinced the RSPCA has the best interests of greyhound racing in mind,” Borsak said.
“The government, politically, has seen the error of its ways and is not going to be doing anything stupid.
“Some people have said to me that they are worried that the government might change its mind again, but that’s not going to happen.
“I think they realise that you can’t simply shut an industry down just because the Premier doesn’t like something. It’s not what should have been done and I think they learned a hard lesson.
“I think there is an opportunity there for the government if it wants to work properly with the industry to reconstruct the industry and set it up for a bright future.
“The Panel’s job is to go to the next stage and make some recommendations based on the detail on what the industry should look like.
“They have to be very careful when selecting anything that comes out of the McHugh Report because large slabs of it have proven to be unreliable and wrong.
“I would be throwing it away, or perhaps only looking at very limited parts of it.
“I don’t think the government will want to touch the intercode, so it will come down to someone like me to try and put as much political pressure as I can on them.
“Harness racing and most definitely the thoroughbreds have any racing minister – it doesn’t matter whether its this one or the last one – just like a puppet on a string, they just do what they are told.
“The thoroughbreds are busy doing whatever they like because they think they are a more significant industry.”
Borsak also says the political pressure ahead of the Orange by-election was a driving force behind the backflip, however he is still urging voters to show support for those who were willing to support the greyhound racing industry.
“The timing is quite convenient in relation to the Orange by-election.
“If we didn’t have that pressure point politically it would have been very difficult to get this result.
“The government would have sat back thinking people would get over it in the next two years, but I think even that would have proven to be wrong because it is such a significant issue.
“They were in deep trouble out there, whether we won the seat or Labor won the seat I think the feeling was that the Nationals may not have retained it.
“Even still, we need greyhound participants, families and friends to get out there on the day and help us campaign.
“Even though there may have been a bit of mollification with some people there are still a lot of very angry people out there.”