Why we should still support Baird
Mike Baird, the NSW Premier, has decided to backtrack: after having made the decision to close down the industry in 2017 and after the approval of this measure by Parliament, he has changed his mind and will instead be proposing new regulations.
We are not interested in his motives, we simply note that the powerful racing lobby, supported by a strong press campaign from those with vested interests in racing, was stronger than the albeit extensive mobilisation of the campaign groups and of public opinion itself, which emerged as clearly opposed to racing in all the opinion polls.
This confirms that strong support from the press and from the political arena is required in order to defeat the lobbies of the industry’s bearers of death.
But beyond our understandable disappointment and regardless of the opinions each one of us may have about Mike Baird’s actions, we must consider that it is in the interests of the greyhounds that the partial victory of their exploiters’ lobby should remain partial, and that it should at any rate turn into a defeat.
Baird’s new plans for instance call for the closure of some of the tracks, a drastic reduction in state contributions, strict limitations imposed on breeding (with a cap at 2,000 pups per year there would be a reduction estimated at around 75%), fewer races and more still.
If the new plans go through it will be at any rate a very tough blow on the industry, which will also be losing one of its most prized assets: self regulation, thanks to which it has been able to do as it pleased so far.
Many believe that these plans would quickly close down the industry.
So everyone who is antiracing must do everything possible to ensure that the new plans are approved and realised, actively backing all the Australian politicians who support them.