NSW Premier Mike Baird said he was wrong to ban the greyhound racing industry.
NSW Premier Mike Baird said he was wrong to ban the greyhound racing industry. KAY NIETFELD

Baird admits he got it 'wrong' on doggies

DEVELOPERS could soon be moving into Northern Rivers greyhound tracks after Premier Mike Baird offered to reverse his ban if the industry agrees to downsize.

Mr Baird was ridiculed in parliament after admitting he "got it wrong” and reinstating the sport ahead of its planned July 2017 cut-off date.

Hounded by poor polling and tensions within the Coalition government, the premier said the industry would be given one last chance to prove it could stamp out animal cruelty.

"I got it wrong. The Cabinet got it wrong. The government got it wrong,” he said.

Opposition Leader Luke Foley told parliament the reversal had "nothing to do with principle but is being driven by political self-interest ahead of the Orange by-election”.

The industry will be kept on a short leash with strict conditions attached to Baird's change of heart.

Breeders will have to pay a $1500 bond for each new dog, with a maximum 2000 racing greyhounds across the state.

Penalties for people who abuse greyhounds will be increased, with jail terms on the cards, and the industry will have to fund increased regulation.

Race numbers will also drop and a number of the state's greyhound tracks will have to be sold.

There has been no word on which tracks, or how many, will be retired.

There are 34 tracks across the state including Casino, Grafton, Lismore and Tweed Heads.

The government promised tracks on Crown land would kept for public use if the sport was banned. Whether that rule will be extended to the new arrangements hasn't been decided.



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