ANYONE who supports the New South Wales greyhound racing industry is urged to take part in the ‘Fair Go Rally’, which is set to be held in Sydney on August 2.
Organised by the NSW Greyhound Racing Industry Alliance – a new steering committee put in place to fight the proposed legislation to outlaw greyhound racing – the rally will be held at Hyde Park North on the same day the NSW Parliament will meet to discuss the ban.
Kevin Gordon, the Hunter Valley representative from the newly-formed group, said it’s pivotal that all people with an interest in the industry attend the rally.
“What we are looking for is a show of unity to the state government and Mr Baird in particular so they can see that we are one body and we are looking for a fair go,” Gordon told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“I would like to see between 700 and 1000 people attend. I think that would be a good show considering it is late notice and a work day.
“There is a lot of things going against us, many people have to travel long distances and they have dogs to look after.
“The Gardens have opened up their kennels at the track for anyone coming down on the buses and there will be someone there to supervise the dogs.
“We are trying to give everybody every possible means to get there.”
Gordon added that it’s not just owners or trainers to be involved on the day, with anyone who is affected by the ban such as butchers, feed and vitamin suppliers, vets, track staff and even punters invited to join the rally.
“The majority of people there will be from the industry, however I know we already have a butcher coming down from Bathurst because his whole business will close down if the greyhound industry does.
“Anyone who is involved or will suffer the repercussions of the industry closing down should be involved in this rally.”
As a part of the rally, around 50 greyhound racing participants will be escorted by members of the NSW Police Force to Parliament House to present opposition leader Luke Foley and Labor MP Sonia Hornery with a signed petition opposing the ban.
Gordon says he has high hopes for the petition, with signatures exceeding initial expectations.
“10,000 signatures creates a debate in parliament and that’s what we wanted to achieve.
“That has been achieved quite easily… just from the Hunter Valley and the northern local area we have 11,000 signatures and they have collected petitions from Bathurst, Richmond and the South Coast with over 13,000 signatures.
“We will definitely topple 25,000 signatures – we may even get close to 30,000.
“To get that amount in a short period of time is remarkable.”
Gordon expressed that the industry doesn’t hold any unrealistic expectations, but hopes that the rally and petition will reiterate to the government that greyhound racing deserves a fair go to show it has the capability to change.
“The government say we have lost our social licence, but if you go out into the real world, not just to those sitting in their apartments in Mosman, but to those out in the country… 9/10 people support us.
“To say that we have lost our social licence in NSW is completely incorrect.
“From the day the Four Corners program hit the air, TAB turnover hasn’t gone down for greyhound racing, it has gone up… so the average punter and person (support us).
“One of the big things people are opposed to is the process – there was no consultation with us or even [Mike Baird]’s own party.
“He just made the decision as a dictator does… we don’t live in a dictatorship – one person can’t just make a decision like this.”
It is hoped that at least one bus will be heading to Hyde Park from every track within NSW. Gordon noted that it is essential for participants to conduct themselves in a respectful and professional manner, while he also laid out some further ground rules for the day.
“No animals whatsoever, it leaves us open for potential problems. Anything could go wrong, with an animal being there in the crowd it could get spooked or hurt – so absolutely no animals.
“We are also asking for people to be well dressed – no tracksuits or beanies – a lot of people have suggested they will wear black and white which I think is a great idea.”
Fair Go Rally – event details
WHEN: Tuesday August 2, 11am
WHERE: Hyde Park North (in front of the Fountain)
NOTE: No animals (including greyhounds)
BUSES: Drop off @ College street in front of St Mary’s Cathedral between 10am – 11am (buses must drop and go). Pick up same place 12:30pm. Buses are asked to come via Wentworth Park Road to collect Placards/Shirts and receive briefing.
CAR PARKING: Domain Car park
PUBLIC TRANSPORT: St James Station or Town Hall Station is a short walk.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: During this rally there will be guest speakers, while a sausage sizzle and drinks will be supplied. Toilets are located in Hyde Park. The Alliance will supply some banners, but people are encouraged to bring banners that represent where they are from.
PLEASE NOTE: This a family event. We strongly encourage those attending to bring the whole family from 0 to 90 years of age.
Anyone who is planning to attend this rally and support greyhound racing can confirm their attendance by clicking the link below (it will return you to this page). There is no need to enter any details, we just want a guide to approximate numbers attending.