IS Troy Grant delusional? And what is the back story behind Mike Baird’s ‘captain’s call’ to close down greyhound racing?
Council amalgamations – tick. Lock-out laws – tick. Close greyhound racing – tick. Grab land assets of the greyhound industry – tick.
In concert, the premier and deputy premier have cited Michael McHugh’s biased and amply-flawed special commission report as the rationale behind their dictatorial decision.
Democracy was cast aside via Mr Baird’s July 2 Facebook edict. Morality and decency now fails as a tenet of government in NSW.
Mr Baird and Mr Grant have ignored facts and peddled untruths. Mr Grant rants about a non-sustainable industry.
Mr Grant failed to recognise that the revenue streams of the industry have changed since the 2014 parliamentary report, largely in a manner advocated by the industry.
The cap was lifted on race fields fees meaning the industry is now collecting an additional $6 million per annum and the Government has introduced tax reform which, when fully implemented, will increase industry revenues by a further $9 million per annum.
Finally the McHugh Report recommends addressing the TAB distributions so that each code receives funding proportionally to their contribution to sales, which would conservatively deliver a further $15 million per annum to the code.
The tax reform is quarantined, but that’s no surprise.
And Mr Grant considers greyhound racing’s protests to be that of a vocal minority.
Does he consider Alan Jones, Ray Hadley, Paul Murray, Miranda Devine, Chris Kenny, Warren Mundine, Michael Kosta, Campbell Newman, Mark Latham, Chris Smith, Rebecca Wilson, Hedley Thomas et al part of that vocal minority?
And let’s not forget where Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce sit on this issue.
Mr Baird lost the media battle so he embarked on a $2 million advertising campaign extolling the virtues of the flawed Special Commission report.
Supreme Court action is pending on the validity of that document.
On August 12, Mr Grant said: “[the Government] will not lose a single seat on the greyhounds issue.”
The first litmus test of those words will be the Orange byelection on November 2 this year.
The National Party may not lose this ultra safe seat – where last election they won 71.7 per cent of the vote – but a clear message will be delivered.
Both Mr Baird and Mr Grant have massively underestimated the impact their ban on greyhound racing would have.
In a desperate move to find dirt the Government gave KordaMentha Forensic executive powers to interrogate participants. It was a last-gasp attempt to discredit this sport of the people and it’s seemingly failed badly.
Finally, some sage words from Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles on August 27, the evening of his party’s demise at the ballot box.
“Tonight's result is a lesson in disunity, [it] is death in politics,” Mr Giles said.
“It's a result of personalities before the politics. It's a result of looking after one's self rather than thinking about the people.”
Those words will resonate at the March, 2019 state election.