NSW Opposition To Back Greyhound Industry

Labor MP Luke Foley is urging the Nationals to oppose the ban.

11/07/2016 12:31 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:57 PM AEST
Luke Foley says he will fight for the NSW Greyhound Industry following Mike Baird's ban.

NSW opposition leader Luke Foley has vowed to fight the state government's ban on the greyhound racing industry in the wake of Premier Mike Baird's shock announcement it would be closed down following widespread cruelty.

Premier Baird on Thursday announced the controversial industry would be banned by July 1 next year, after a special commission of inquiry found overwhelming evidence of animal cruelty.

"I'll stand by the overwhelming majority of people in the industry who've only ever done the right thing," Mr Foley told reporters on Monday.

"I want to throw the book at those who have done the wrong thing, life bans from the industry, prison terms for those who have engaged in live baiting.

"This industry provides employment to tens of thousands of people. And enjoyment to many, many tens of thousands. So what I say is: let's give this a go. The 79 recommendations, that would give the RSPCA and animal welfare league a very powerful say in the running of greyhound racing in New South Wales."

Foley said he would take his plan to parliament with the support of Christian Democrat Fred Nile as well as the Shooters and Fishers party. He also appealed to the National party to back him.

Premier Baird posted a long explanation of his reasoning behind the ban on Facebook on Saturday.

He argues the industry cannot be reformed, even if all 79 of the special commission of inquiry's recommendations are implemented.

"The Special Commission ... said that, even then, it was highly doubtful the industry was capable of reform. The culture of deception and mistreatment of dogs just ran too deep," he said.

Better regulation had been attempted many times over, he said. The Commission also found that the reforms required would have made the entire industry economically unsustainable.

"The sad reality is, further regulation simply isn't a viable option," Baird said.

The policy to close the industry down is not sitting well with some state Coalition partners.

Nationals MP Katrina Hodgkinson has left the door open to crossing the floor in Parliament to block the ban, the ABC reports.

Fellow National MP Chris Gulaptis said he thought most in the party would empathise with Hodgkinson's view, telling the national broadcaster greyhound racing was a "typical cultural part of regional NSW".

Federal Labor Senator Sam Dastyari has reportedly called for a full senate inquiry into the proposed ban.

Foley on Monday called for Deputy Premier and National MP Troy Grant to debate him over the ban.

Baird said his Government will present legislation to shut down greyhound racing during the next parliamentary sitting period.

More On This Topic