Luke Foley heading to Coonamble to support greyhound racing

NEW South Wales Opposition Leader Luke Foley will be a special guest at Coonamble over the long weekend as the industry prepares for its annual blockbuster greyhound racing carnival.

All up, the carnival attracted over 1000 nominations this year, enough for 130 races, however, due to the traditional Sunday meeting not being drawn by Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW), a total of 84 events are expected to be run and won on the grass circuit.

The Coonamble Carnival is the biggest on the NSW country calendar, with trainers from all over Australia descending on the north-west community which is six-and-a-half hours from Sydney and has a population of just 3,000 people.

Despite being non-TAB events, the carnival injects $1.6 million into the local community, with the Coonamble Bowling Club generating half of its profits over the weekend and hotels and motels booked-out years in advance.

The sleepy country town estimates it will lose $1.88 million if Premier Mike Baird’s ban becomes a reality next July, with job losses also expected.

Foley recently told Australian Racing Greyhound it was important for him to get out to Coonamble over the long weekend to hear from the people who will be hurt by the Baird government’s ban.

“I want to travel to Coonamble on the weekend and just meet people who go there for this famous carnival and listen to their stories about what the ban will mean to them,” Foley said.

“I will be speaking with greyhound participants but also people who run businesses in the town that rely on the patronage of the greyhound racing community.

“I am extremely concerned about the impact of Mr. Baird’s ban on country communities – I think there is no better example than Coonamble – this is one of the biggest events of the year for the small town and to think that this will be lost from their annual calendar is a sad thought.”

However, all is not lost, with community support building for the greyhound racing industry. Foley also wants to tell participants to not lose hope as pressure continues to rise for Baird to back down on the ban.

“What I want to say to people when I am there is don’t give up, we can defeat this ban,” Foley said.

“[Community support] is growing because Australians believe in a fair-go and the greyhound fraternity have not been given a fair-go.

“The corridors of the parliament [are] full of chatter from within the government ranks about a need to back down and reverse the ban.

“I am encouraged that the grass roots campaign right around the state will eventually force a capitulation from Mr Baird. You can’t treat innocent people and law abiding citizens this way in a democracy.

“Whether it will take a big swing at the Orange by-election in November, or pressure [from] right around the state to back down my message is for people to keep up the campaign.”

The Orange by-election is set to be a massive test for the Coalition, with the ultra-safe Nationals seat in doubt due to a number of controversial issues made by the government, one of which is the ban on greyhound racing from July 1, 2017.

Foley said the community can send a powerful message to the Baird government when the polling booths open on November 12.

“Orange is the safest of safe National Party seats, the Labor Party hasn’t won it since 1944, but we are determined to put forward a strong campaign so that people can send Mike Baird and Troy Grant a strong message at the by-election.

“There is a string of city centric decisions including the greyhound ban that hurt country communities…but all is not lost; the pressure is having a big effect.

“I do not believe in a democracy where a Premier can ignore the voice of the people forever.”

Other important guests at the carnival will be Nationals MP Kevin Humphries, who crossed the floor in an attempt to block the greyhound racing legislation, and Scott Munro, who recently quit the Nationals Party and is running as an independent at the Orange by-election.

The Coonamble Carnival kicks off with 14 races on Friday afternoon, the first of which is scheduled to jump at 2.00pm.

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JackGatty
JackGatty
4 years ago

I for one am hopeful that this will not be the last Coonamble Carnival. Truth and justice must prevail.

bhyatt
bhyatt
4 years ago

Why would Foley do that.  The track at Coonamble was going to be closed anyway.  This is just stupid now.  Is he going to tell them that even if greyhound racing was to continue they would lose their track anyway.  It’s all about votes now.  Let’s not forget the dogs

Deborah555
Deborah555
4 years ago

bhyatt  I don’t care what motivates them as long as they want greyhound racing to continue and 20,000 dogs are not put down. The track closing is not a foregone conclusion just a suggestion.

BobWhitelaw
BobWhitelaw
4 years ago

bhyatt Its not about tracks closing, its showing the industry he is prepared to support Greyhound Racing  here in NSW, Well Baird has certainly forgot about the Greyhounds that are going to be put down on mass. This  so called Christian decided no nets to protect humans from Sharks eating them,but he decided  he’ll rather protect feral rabbits and allow Greyhounds to face the Green Dream .So you believe Foley is stupid , Yes the People of NSW should have the right to vote on the Issue and i know which way it would go, if the polls are right.we… Read more »

Deborah555
Deborah555
4 years ago

bhyatt  PS now us illiterate, bogan dog trainers have learnt the ancient art of being a keyboard warrior and have all the pollies emails on “speed dial” we could probably protest about closing that bhyatt.

BJoe
BJoe
4 years ago

He’s just keeping the pot on the boil and that’s what we need.

Deborah555
Deborah555
4 years ago

BJoe  Exactly right BJoe we need to keep the pressure up on the pollies.

John Tracey
John Tracey
4 years ago

If you want to see what a social licence looks like go to Coonamble over the weekend.

Deborah555
Deborah555
4 years ago

John Tracey  Brilliant John.

BobWhitelaw
BobWhitelaw
4 years ago

John Tracey Yes John over a thousand noms , and a chance to listen to Luke Foley with his plans for the future of our industry plus full fields at other venues over the long weekend..John a question for Baird and Grant please show us a hard copy  of a social licence we would all love to see one ?

BobWhitelaw
BobWhitelaw
4 years ago

On  Tuesday  Secretary for the Government here in the Hunter  Scott MacDonald addressed a meeting of the Lions Club members .When ask would the Government over turn the Ban on Greyhound Racing here in NSW  before the Orange By-Election ,his  reply  NO.

Deborah555
Deborah555
4 years ago

BobWhitelaw John Tracey  and a great deal of much needed money going through the town as well.

Deborah555
Deborah555
4 years ago

BobWhitelaw  Surely you were not surprised by his answer Bob he and his little mate Adam would push the party line even if Baird proposed a lottery where the winner was publicly executed in Martin Place every Wednesday. Two nasty little boys who no one would have liked at school.

John Tracey
John Tracey
4 years ago

BobWhitelaw John Tracey you have one at Cessnock in spades.

Deborah555
Deborah555
4 years ago

John Tracey BobWhitelaw  and the Grafton carnival is always a great event as well.

BobWhitelaw
BobWhitelaw
4 years ago

Latest Poll on preferred Premier  Luke Foley 52.9% ,Mike Baird 47.1%  you would think Baird would get the message., he’s hated !

BobWhitelaw
BobWhitelaw
4 years ago

No Baird on the podium at the Grand Final, maybe he was at Coonamble trying  to score votes ? LOL

BobWhitelaw
BobWhitelaw
4 years ago

Tonight Grant was being promoted by 2SMs Graham Gilbert  on his show, it was obvious Grant and Gilbert are very close friends and lies continue to come from Grants mouth about the Greyhounds . Why do 2SM allow this right wing fascist any air is beyond belief ?

Deborah555
Deborah555
4 years ago

BobWhitelaw  Birds of a feather flock together? Let’s be frank Gilbert must be the only person left in NSW who talks to him. The Nationals are suddenly declaring there will be no leadership challenge so that means one is just about to happen. The National candidate for Orange claimed today he supported greyhound racing but there was nothing he could really do about the ban -awe inspiring LOL- You would  have to not vote  for him because he is obviously just plain stupid. My favourite pollie Dr Farku has been counting greyhound  injuries the last two days and of course loyally… Read more »

BobWhitelaw
BobWhitelaw
4 years ago

Deborah555 BobWhitelaw Deb spoke to Allan Jones this morning who is going to listen to the interview  and will be making comment on it , he told me  to be Patient the end of Grants and Bairds regime is coming to a end via the Orange By-Election.

Deborah555
Deborah555
4 years ago

BobWhitelaw Deborah555  excellent news Bob. Alan Jones and Ray Hadley have been doing an excellent job for democracy.