PREMIER Mike Baird is determined in his mission to end greyhound racing in NSW, repeating his stance at a press conference on Thursday, exactly one week after his bombshell announcement shook the greyhound industry to its core.
Having met with industry representatives throughout the day, Baird said he was still confident in his decision which will see the sport become illegal as of July 1, 2017.
“Today the Deputy Premier (Troy Grant) and I have had a difficult, but constructive and necessary meeting with the industry,” Baird said.
“This is not an easy time, we understand the difficulties the industry is facing and we are determined to do everything we can to support them in the transition.
“In the discussion with the industry we made it very clear to them that this was not an easy decision.
“It weighed heavy on our hearts as we made the decision, but we have made it.
“We also said to them very clearly that we want to work with them in the transition on two fronts; both with the welfare with the dogs and how we support them, and at the same time how we help and support those within the industry.”
Baird also announced John Keniry as the person in charge of a task force which has been put in place to oversee the close down of the industry.
“What we will be looking at over the next few months is talking to people as widely as we can so we understand the issues and then putting together a package which hopefully will provide a smooth transition for this industry,” Keniry said.
“We will focused on working with all the participants within the industry…and doing a thorough and a fair job with due regard to animal welfare.”
Also speaking at the press conference was Deputy Premier and Racing Minister Troy Grant who remains confident in his decision, despite several NSW Nationals Party members coming forward to state they oppose the greyhound racing ban.
“I have spoken to every one of the NSW Nationals Party members, being 24 in total, and/or have communicated by way of text with them,” he said.
“What we have heard in the public commentary is particularly three of the members of the National Party who have raised their individual concerns and in regards to the process by which they learned of the decision.
“I have given my members no instructions in relation to how they should form their view.
“I dont gag the National Party members from representing their communities and saying what they think.”
The legislation to ban greyhound racing in NSW is set to be brought before the Parliament on August 2.