Tue, Oct 11, 10:28am by Staff Writer
Greyhound racing will continue in New South Wales after an extraordinary backflip by premier Mike Baird was confirmed at a cabinet meeting in Sydney on Tuesday morning.
Just a month after the ban was officially pushed through parliament, Baird has been forced to backdown by a massive public backlash.
National Party leader Troy Grant was set to lose his leadership if the ban wasn’t reversed, while Baird’s hold on the Premier’s office was also said to be under threat
Instead of a ban, which was set to occur from July next year, the NSW government will implement a set of strict guidelines which the industry must adhere to in order to guarantee its survival.
Those guidelines include the capping breeding in NSW to 2,000, a reduction in the number of tracks, a reduction of the number of race events, an emphasis on whole-of-life dog cycle management, while there will be a $1,500 bond for every dog bred.
Those guidelines will put greater pressure on the industry to be accountable for the actions of its participants.
There will also be an oversight body set-up which will review governance. That body will include representatives from RSPCA and the Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association [GBOTA] as well as independent directors.
The man who appears to be most influential in the decision has been broadcaster Alan Jones, who Baird met with this week ahead of his backflip.
Jones told the ABC that Baird’s decision this week was the right one and could revive his popularity in the polls.
“It’s no use being loyal to false causes and he’s been loyal to a false cause,” he said.
“Michael Baird and Troy Grant went off half-cocked and they’ve got them into this particular mess. [There’s] nothing wrong with saying ‘I got it wrong. I’ve listened and we are going to review the whole deal’.”
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