Editorial March 29 2017 – Illawarra Mercury

Posted: March 28, 2017 at 8:48 am

28 Mar 2017, 8 p.m.

Editorial for the March 29 edition of the Illawarra Mercury.

It seems as though much of the first part of 2017 for the NSW Government has been spentunpicking what former Premier Mike Baird attempted to introduce in 2016.

First it was the scrapping of council mergers in regional areas.

Now the Berejiklian government has progressed the reforms of the greyhound industry, which was initially going to be banned outright by former Premier Mike Baird.

The Baird backdown on the ban sparked a review by an expert panel which revealed a series of recommendations to reform the industry instead of the more dramatic option.

On Tuesday Racing Minister Paul Toole announced the NSW Government would accept all but one of the recommendations by the expert panel.

The reforms are expected to cost $41million which will be ultimately paid by the taxpayer purse.

The bulk of the money will be focussed on reforms which the NSW Government hopes will provide better animal welfare.

The other $11 million will go towards the establishment of an agency aimed at policing the industry over the next five years, after which the industry will be required to fund the body.

These reforms will impact on all our local greyhound tracks in the region, Bulli, Dapto and further south in Nowra.

While the industry is welcoming the news it will continue as an industry, the critics are questioning whether the funding and the measures provide enough support to the industry and in the end the result for the industry will be what Mr Baird initially intended.

Bulli Greyhound Club operations manager Darren Hull certainly shared that view with the Illawarra Mercury.

I think it is a good thing that people know where they stand because come the 1st of July, the industry was still going to be banned, Mr Hullsaid.

However, there is probably still a little bit of a cloud, not hanging over the industrys head, but at some point in timeit will have to restructure to remain financial viable.

I dont know if that decision is going to involve scaling back the tracks, cutting back race meetings. But at some stage someone will have to make a call.

In the end this may well prove a life extension than a lifeline, but that remains in the hand of the industry.

Editorial March 29 2017 - Illawarra Mercury

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