Legislative Assembly passes bill to ban greyhound racing

GREYHOUND racing will be banned in New South Wales from July 1, 2017, after legislation to outlaw the sport was passed through the Lower House of state parliament 48 votes to 35.

It comes just two weeks after Baird made the bizarre move to pass the bill through the Upper House first, with many speculating that it was a tactic to avoid fuelling a heated debate within the Legislative Assembly and to prevent MPs from crossing the floor.

“Urgent notices of motion being introduced to the Upper House has usually been reserved for extreme issues such as legislation for terrorism and the like,” Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery said at the time.

“The Baird Government is determined to sidestep due process today by introducing legislation which will ignore a significant section of our community.”

While the bill ultimately passed through the Lower House in the early hours of Wednesday morning, it wasn’t all good news for Baird and his Deputy Premier Troy Grant, with three Nationals MPs crossing the floor to oppose the ban and a further two MPs vowing to abstain in the vote.

It was the most substantial rebellion in the history of the O’Farrell-Baird Government, with the only member of Coalition to have crossed the floor during their reign being Peter Phelps over ethanol laws.

Mike Baird released a statement on Wednesday morning to express his satisfaction with the Government’s overall decision, ignoring the internal revolt which has been occurring within the Coalition Government over the ban.

“When I came into politics, I never envisaged having to make a decision like this one. The driving focus of our government has been, and remains, rebuilding NSW after years of neglect,” Baird said.

“But I also didn’t come into politics just to make the easy decisions or to kick the big problems down the road. Too often governments put confronting problems in the too hard basket. We are not that kind of government.

“I’m proud of the decision we have made to save thousands upon thousands of dogs from cruelty and death. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it was the right decision.

“We will now continue helping the innocent trainers and breeders, who have been let down by their industry, as they transition away from racing. I know many of them are disappointed. I feel deep empathy for them, and I’m determined to help them as best we can.”

The bill was passed after 3am in the morning on Wednesday, with several MPs voicing their distain for the legislation including Cootamundra MP Katrina Hodgkinson, one of the Nationals who crossed the floor.

“I have been threatened for expressing my views by some who have served in this place for periods far less than me,” she said.

“So be it. After 17 years I will happily stand by my reasoning. To serve in Parliament members must have some guiding principles that are innate and not instructed.

“If the process was different I am certain so too would be the outcome, an outcome based on a more methodical and logical process to a complex but not impossible issue.

“In this Parliament we have and will continue to deal with issues more exceptional than this, but if those who rely on us to find the calmer process of a more diligent resolution are ignored, then this vote to ban an industry must be defeated.

“I take this tough decision today not to vote with Labor, but I have to oppose this legislation on behalf of my electorate, on behalf of those who are sick and depressed by this proposed ban and who feel that they have no voice, and on behalf of those many people who are involved in agriculture in my electorate who will be targeted based on the precedent being set today.”

Opposition Leader Luke Foley kicked off the debate, with a two-hour speech which was scathing of the actions of the Coalition government.

“What we have here is the extraordinary intervention by the State — a Coalition Government, with the Liberal Party as the largest party in that coalition — taking away property rights, closing down private business activity and closing down an industry that contributes $335 million per annum to the State’s economy.

“If a Labor Government did it there would be cries of socialism and communism ringing from those opposite and their cheer squad in the media.

“Yet here we have a Liberal Premier — a leader of a party that claims to champion private enterprise and the private sector economy — with the stroke of a pen or, more accurately, with the click of a keyboard to put it on Facebook, wiping out an entire industry, outlawing it, declaring it illegal.”

Foley also re-iterated Labor’s position that Parliament should be used to strengthen animal welfare and integrity measures within the greyhound racing industry, not to rub out the entire industry.

Foley slammed the Government in a statement on Wednesday morning and was particularly critical of the Nationals MPs who refused to stand up for their constituents.

“Regional and rural NSW has been let down by a National Party which has done little more than act as a lickspittle for a North Shore Liberal Premier,” Foley said.

“There are thousands of good and honest people in the greyhound industry that will have their livelihoods destroyed by this Liberal-National Government.”

Labor moved several amendments during the course of the debate, all of which were defeated, one of which was to suspend debate of the bill for three months pending the Supreme Court challenge launched by the industry.

The industry is claiming that many facts within the McHugh report are incorrect, with questions also having arisen in regards to a potential bias in the favour of those opposing greyhound racing.

Michael Daley, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Gaming and Racing was disgusted by Baird’s tactic to pass the bill so quickly.

“There was no reason for the legislation to be rammed through the Parliament in the early hours of the morning,” Daley said.

“I moved to suspend the debate for three months until the Supreme Court had delivered its judgement. How can anyone think that is unreasonable?

“We know Mike Baird thinks he’s above the community, now he thinks he’s above the independent umpire.

“Mike Baird knows he’s done the wrong thing. He’s chosen to rush this legislation through and push all the pain onto those in the industry who will be ruined by this.”

The greyhound racing industry will continue to fight for the legislation to be overturned, with Barrister David Bennett QC representing the industry in the Supreme Court in a battle to have the Special Commission of Inquiry report declared invalid.

The matter is due back in court on September 29.

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Hugh_
Hugh_
4 years ago

Deborah555 Hugh_ If you really think that would happen then that only shows how little you understand those you rally against so vehemently, and it is this lack of understanding of why people care about animal welfare that has seen this result for the greyhound industry.

Hugh_
Hugh_
4 years ago

No SAV Hugh_ It’s not semantics.  I view the result of this ban as a net positive outcome for animal welfare, irrespective of Baird’s motives.  Unless you can convince me that because he possibly has ulterior/additional motives, that this will lead to a net negative outcome for animal welfare, then I don’t see the relevance. You should calm down.  I’m not the one sitting at my computer slinging insults and frothing at the mouth.  I think it’s safe to say that one of us would curb our behaviour if we met face to face, but it wouldn’t be me, even if… Read more »

Deborah555
Deborah555
4 years ago

Hugh_ No SAV sorry Hugh but No Sav is not behaving like a small child throwing a temper tantrum he is displaying perfectly legitimate outrage at was is an outrageous act of bastardry and showing genuine concern for his fellow trainers and his upset at the most likely death  of large numbers of greyhounds currently on the ground which is of concerning to many people except the animal activist with their “well they would have died anyway” semantics. He appears to me to be a perfectly decent man and concerned human being expressing an opinion on A RACING SITE. If you feel that… Read more »

Hugh_
Hugh_
4 years ago

I don’t feel insulted. Just pointing out the irony.

No SAV
No SAV
4 years ago

Hugh_ You are right, Mungbean, I should calm down and I have. I was laughing so hard at your response that I think I’ve developed a hernia – ” I view the result of this ban as a net positive outcome for animal welfare.” Oh deary me – I think you have really lost it, but it is a response that is hardly surprising given the narrow minded irrational agendas you lot hold. “NET POSITIVE OUTCOME,” Oh dear. “Unless you can convince me…”  That would be like trying to convince Animals Australia that advocating meat consumption is a good idea.… Read more »

Hugh_
Hugh_
4 years ago

No SAV Hugh_ You’re the one making a point of his motives I’ve explained why I think they are irrelevant.  If you can’t, or wont explain why they are, then it’s no skin off my nose.  Suit yourself. The topic and focus of this website and the views of those posting aren’t relevant to the topic of anonymity.  Everyone posting here is anonymous unless they choose to disclose their real world identity.  So your point makes no sense. You suggested that I have the gall to engage in these debates because the internet provides some protection.  The point I was making… Read more »

BobWhitelaw
BobWhitelaw
4 years ago

No SAV Hugh_  Oh  Yes, there is agenda’ its called bestiality  and its interpreted as Animal welfare  by those who Practice this inhuman act !

Hugh_
Hugh_
4 years ago

BobWhitelaw No SAV Hugh_ https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/strawman

No SAV
No SAV
4 years ago

Hugh_ BobWhitelaw No SAV  http://www.thefreedictionary.com/charlatan

Deborah555
Deborah555
4 years ago

Hugh_  The type of people  Baird and Grant are is the cause of the problem.

Hugh_
Hugh_
4 years ago

No SAV Hugh_ Unfortunately that fallacy doesn’t apply to the arguments you’ve made.  I posted the straw man fallacy in response to your claim “there is agenda’ its called bestiality  and its interpreted as Animal welfare” (which in itself makes no sense), which is based on Peter Singer’s “Heavy Petting”  article which can be read here: http://www.utilitarian.net/singer/by/2001—-.htmThere is no line in that article that advocates or encourages bestiality.  Anyone claiming that has misread it or misunderstood the point.  Go ahead, find the quote that supports your assertion. Secondly you called me a charlatan, which you’ve not even made an argument for, so… Read more »

No SAV
No SAV
4 years ago

Hugh_ No SAV I’ll get back to the rest of this post later. Hughie, what do you think Peter Singer’s point is for writing that article? What is the point that has been misunderstood?

Hugh_
Hugh_
4 years ago

No SAV Hugh_  The first thing to note is that Peter Singer is aphilosopher, and he’s a philosopher of ethics. This is what philosophers do, they ask questions to provoke thought anddiscussion.  And as a ethicist, one ofthe things that Peter does is to ask questions designed to make us question ourmorality, and draw attention to inconsistencies in both our personal code andthe moral code of our society, which our legal system should reflect. This essay asks a question and makes a point. The question: Why is bestiality illegal? This  is a legitimate question,and asking it is not the same as advocating for… Read more »

BJoe
BJoe
4 years ago

Hugh_ No SAV

Hughie,

Singer’s is simply an intellectual wanker….just like you.

Deborah555
Deborah555
4 years ago

Hugh_ No SAV  He’s not collecting a parliamentary salary -paid  by the taxpayer- to be a philosopher. Does he have a philosophy about economic policy, education, health ? He is not a philosopher he is a wack job taking a parliamentary salary under false pretences.

PS Riding a horse only has one meaning on this racing site.

BobWhitelaw
BobWhitelaw
4 years ago

Deborah555 Hugh_ No SAV Please Deborarh  and friends, No Air for the one who supports the MR Bestiality !

BobWhitelaw
BobWhitelaw
4 years ago

This Bill was put forward by Baird and Grant based on LIES ,So in real terms they don’t have the real right to be custodians of NSW and the Governor General should sack  the Baird Grant Government for a DELIBERATE UNTRUTH about the Greyhound Industry here into NSW . ICAC identified with this Government having a BROWN PAPER BAG MENTALITY !

Hugh_
Hugh_
4 years ago

Deborah555 Hugh_ No SAV What are you talking about?  He’s a university academic specifically in the area of philosophy and is affiliated with several universities, some here and some overseas.  Do you even know who this guy is?

And if you are trying to suggest that philosophy is somehow unimportant then you should perhaps do some research on the history of human civilisation.

Honestly, you guys accuse me of being condescending, but when you say stuff like this…

Hugh_
Hugh_
4 years ago

BobWhitelaw Deborah555 Hugh_ No SAV It’s pretty sad that you would choose to continue with a completely dishonest and factually incorrect smear on someone just because it suits your agenda. That says a lot about what sort of person you are.

BobWhitelaw
BobWhitelaw
4 years ago

Deborah555 Hugh_ No SAV DITTO

Hugh_
Hugh_
4 years ago

BJoe Hugh_ No SAV  I’m sorry if reason makes you feel angry and defensive.

Hugh_
Hugh_
4 years ago

BJoe Hugh_ No SAV Also you should consider the irony of everything you hold dear about western civilisation being due to “intellectual wankers” while simultaneously harboring irrational prejudice against them.  If you want to know what the world looks like when intellectual discussion is stifled look to the middle east and countries that operate under sharia law.  That’s what you support when you hate people for engaging in complex philosophical thought and debate.

BJoe
BJoe
4 years ago

Hugh_ BJoe No SAV

Hughie, I’m angry but not defensive.  I’m a realist, just like most of the population in this Country of ours, not an intellectual as you purport to be.  Watch the footage of Springer’s appearance on that  wanker’s program called Q & A.  Everyone laughs after Springer’s comment until he was picked up by one of the Panellists, who said that no, it was not OK to have an animal lick your genitals.

Hugh_
Hugh_
4 years ago

This whole idea of who’s an intellectual and who’s not is stupid. You’re just promoting class warfare. I’ve met incredibly intelligent uneducated people that have very insightful things to say, and highly educated people that I think are morons. If that’s your interpretation of what singer said, then you need to watch it again, because you and many others misunderstood him and missed the point he was making. He posed a question, he didn’t advocate animal-human oral sex. I’ve explained quite clearly what the point is, and you just dismiss it and label me a wanker, which has nothing to… Read more »

Deborah555
Deborah555
4 years ago

Hugh_ BJoe No SAV  Sorry Hugh but since when is debating whether an animal can lick your genitals” intellectual” ? I doubt whether the thought would even cross the mind of most people on the planet. I have a couple of uni degrees and have some very intelligent friends with lots of education and we have never discussed something as stupid as this even when very ,very drunk.

Hugh_
Hugh_
4 years ago

You say this, yet I’m not the one who claimed it was or wasn’t intellectual. That was a response to you saying that Singer and I were intellectual wankers. So you’re disagreeing with yourself. Nice one. Despite your impressive qualifications you are still incapable of grasping the point that Singer is making. You can’t get beyond your emotional reaction to the idea of bestiality to understand argument he’s making. Honestly, you’re quite pathetic. You accuse me of benefitting from Internet anonymity, I happily give you my name. You ask me to explain singer’s essay, so I do, you respond by… Read more »

Deborah555
Deborah555
4 years ago

Hugh_  I cannot remember calling you an intellectual wanker in any of my posts. I don’t think you are an intellectual wanker I just think that Singer is an odd sort of a person and yes my response to him is emotional he makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. There is just something about him that I do not like and you are correct it is not intellectual but a primitive response. These primitive responses however are sometimes accurate or maybe a warning and my name is actually Deborah surely you don’t think some-one would… Read more »

BobWhitelaw
BobWhitelaw
4 years ago

Hugh_ YOU ARE ONE SICK PUPPY ! AND YOU AND SINGER DESERVED TO BE EUNUCH 

Hugh_
Hugh_
4 years ago

BobWhitelaw Hugh_ Why am I a sick puppy?  Can you even point to one thing I said that was sick without intentionally misrepresenting my words?

No SAV
No SAV
4 years ago

Hugh_ BobWhitelaw Yes, mungbean, I can answer that for you. This quote from you is certainly sick…”In fact, I am more than happy to wave anonymity.  You know my first name, my surname is Winwood-Smith.  Feel free to google me, stalk me, turn up at my house or workplace, I’m really not concerned.  Anyone with half a brain could have figured out who I am from the various posts I’ve made anyway..” So anyone with half a brain could have figured out who you are from your posts, hey? You really are a tool, aren’t you. That is the second time… Read more »

Hugh_
Hugh_
4 years ago

You have trouble reading English. Not one word I said suggested that I expect anyone to know who I am. I said anyone could “figure out” who I was if they were motivated to do so. The implication being that I have made no effort to hide my identity which was a perfectly reasonable point to make in response to someone who was accusing me of hiding behind internet anonymity. But nice try. Regarding philosophers, I have zero doubt that you feel they have no relevance to society, and I do think they have no relevance to you. You are… Read more »

BJoe
BJoe
4 years ago

Hugh_

Hugh,

You’re still a f*ckwit.  Now get off this website…yes, go trawl other publications such as ‘The Australian’ where your comments about ‘sentient’ beings are as insignificant as the drivel you come out with on this website.

Hugh_
Hugh_
4 years ago

BJoe Hugh_ Thanks for demonstrating why live baiting went unchecked (and probably still goes unchecked) in your industry.

Hugh_
Hugh_
4 years ago

Deborah555 Hugh_ Sorry Deborah, I keep losing track of who I’m replying to in these threads.  I thought I was replying to someone else :/

Deborah555
Deborah555
4 years ago

Hugh_ Deborah555  That’s okay Hugh I have done it a couple of times myself. Replied to the wrong person.

Deborah555
Deborah555
4 years ago

Hugh_ BJoe  Hugh I think this comment is unfair – I can remember you distinctly saying that Animals Australia could not be held responsible if one of their members behaved badly- they were not responsible for every member. Neither are the greyhound people responsible every member for those few who do the wrong thing.  PS this is from Deborah not BJoe whenever you send a reply to BJoe it also comes to my inbox that is probably what the confusion is.

BJoe
BJoe
4 years ago

Hughie Boy,

How the hell did u come to that conclusion? By the way, you’re still a f*ckwit.