BY SARAH BARONOWSKI
Following the State Government’s recent ban on greyhound racing, State Member for Wallsend Sonia Hornery is calling for the issue to be contested in the NSW Parliament.
State Member for Wallsend, Sonia Hornery
Image: NSW Parliament
The MP firmly believes a parliamentary debate can help introduce stronger regulations to the industry to ensure the prevention of animal cruelty while allowing those involved in racing to maintain their jobs.
Sonia Hornery says the Baird Government’s sudden decision to completely shut down the industry will affect the livelihoods of HUNTER residents.
“I have great concern for the livelihoods of workers in the Hunter,” she said. “Fifty people in the Wallsend area rely on their jobs at The Gardens.
“If they were to lose their income because of this, where will they find another job?”
According to the MP, workers and operators are not the only ones who will be affected by this decision.
“We’re also talking about the vet industry, we’re talking about soccer that plays at the greyhounds for years, we’re talking about the club itself, we’re talking about the Asian restaurant that relies on the patrons of the Gardens for their livelihoods,” she says.
“So it’s not only impacting on the fifty people who rely on the greyhounds at Wallsend, it’s all of those other people who will lose their job.”
In order to prevent job losses, the MP says a parliamentary inquiry should be implemented.
“What I would like to see is this inquiry into the industry discussed in Parliament,” she says. “Consultation and more information is needed before decisions like this are made.
“It should have been discussed by all of our parliamentarians so that we can talk about the impact on us.”
The Gardens in Newcastle [
Image: Newcastle Herald
For Sonia Hornery, the Baird Government’s decision is an unfair one and impacts those who abide by the laws in an attempt to punish the few who do not. She says it is the bad operators who should be targeted as generalisations put the majority of workers at a disadvantage.
“Eighty percent of the people in this industry love their pets and look after them,” she says. “Why should they be negatively affected by the twenty percent?
“Let’s improve regulations so we get rid of the twenty percent of miscreants and clean up the industry.”