A special meeting of the NSW GBOTA and the NSW Greyhound Racing Industry Alliance will be held next week which will aim to consider options to support the Canberra greyhound racing industry following today’s announcement by the ACT Attorney General, Gordon Ramsay, that the industry in the ACT would close by the end of June, 2018.

The confirmation follows a parliamentary agreement between ACT Labor and the Greens in October, 2016 (which withdrew annual funding of $1m from the Canberra Greyhound Racing Club, effective July 1, 2017, and supported transitioning of the industry’s closure) and the presentation of a transition report by Mary Durkin Consulting to the ACT government last month.

Ramsay stated that the ACT Government had been given a mandate to end greyhound racing at last October’s ACT election. The ban is part of ACT Labor’s power sharing agreement with the Greens to form Government.

The Durkin report found no evidence of live baiting or animal cruelty being carried out in the ACT or by ACT based participants. But Canberra’s reliance on NSW trainers racing at the venue seemed to be at the heart of the ACT Government’s continued conviction to the industry’s closure, despite the NSW Government having backflipped on its July 7, 2016 decision to ban greyhound racing in favour of strong and real reform.

The closure of the sport in the ACT will require legislation, which is yet to be considered, and – as was the case in NSW – this could lead to grounds for legal challenge.

Spokesman for the Alliance, Brenton Scott, said that was no evidence produced in the Durkin Report that justified a stand-alone approach being taken in the ACT.

“The report speaks to the known concerns – over-breeding, unnecessary euthanasia and racing safety,” Scott said.

“The industry Australia over has acknowledged the need to professionally manage all stages of a greyhound’s natural life, to provide the safest possible racing environment and to adopt a zero tolerance approach to animal cruelty… we are getting on with the job ahead.

“In turn, State Governments – with the exception of the ACT – are working with the greyhound industry to develop operational frameworks that ensure that the sport meets the reasonable expectations of the community.

“ACT Labor, however, are beholden to the increasingly extreme position of the Greens, and are prepared to turn their back on the socio economic class the party was foundered on.”

Details on the ACT Taskforce can be found here http://www.cmtedd.act.gov.au/greyhoundtaskforce/home

While the full report by Mary Durkin can be seen here http://www.cmtedd.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/1075911/Durlkin-Report-Greyhound-Racing-Industry-Transition-Options-Analysis.pdf