State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, will today debate a Notice of Motion calling on the Government to justify the spending of over $1.5 million on advertising to vilify thousands of honest, hard-working people in the Greyhound Racing industry.
In July last year, the Government made the decision to unilaterally ban greyhound racing across New South Wales with just twelve months’ notice.
The Government then set about spending more than $1.5 million defending a decision they ultimately backed away from.
In the face of a revolt from Nationals MPs and tens of thousands of people who signed petitions calling on him to reconsider the ban, the former Premier, Mike Baird, threw his proposed changes under the bus, along with more than $1.5 million of taxpayer money.
Quotes attributable to Member for Wallsend, Sonia Hornery
“The decision taken by the Government in July of last year to unilaterally ban greyhound racing across New South Wales with just twelve months’ notice was indefensible.”
“The closure of The Gardens race track would have cost the local economy $17.69 million every year. 6,010 individuals are directly involved with the track one way or another—that’s 6,010 people whose livelihoods would have been thrown upside-down.”
“In order to silence their critics, the Government invented a civil emergency so they could get around the rule requiring a peer review be carried out as is required under the Government Advertising Act for campaigns which would cost $50,000 or more.”
“One senior bureaucrat feared that the ads would be perceived as propaganda, but in a creative brief drafted by the Justice Department’s Strategic Communications Director, it was suggested that the Government take into account the intended audience of the advertisements, a large number of the target group potentially had low levels of literacy.”
“Unlike the description of greyhound owners given by the Justice Department, the hundreds of people who got in touch with me, urging me to oppose the greyhound racing ban were compassionate, intelligent people who were just asking for the Government to listen to them.”
“That the Government thought it was acceptable to spend more than $1.5 million justifying an unjustifiable decision bewilders me. It seems they were operating under a set of alternative facts.”
“I call on the Government to justify the condescending attitude of bureaucrats towards those involved in the greyhound racing industry and to justify how it could spend more than $1.5 million on advertising, vilifying thousands of honest, hard-working people who love their dogs and just want them to race.”