Input by council influenced backflip on greyhound ban
RICHMOND Valley Council have patted themselves on the back for their input into the NSW Government's decision to overtun the ban on greyhound racing.
Their advocacy for many greyhound racing supporters in the local government area saw a motion by Cr Sandra Humphrys, supported by all councillors, to carry out an economic and social impact assessment of the ban.
"Council understood the reasons why the NSW Government needed to take action to clean up the greyhound racing industry,” mayor Robert Mustow said.
"However, we knew a ban would have a severe impact on the many greyhound breeders, owners and trainers who call the Richmond Valley their home.
"We had to make sure the NSW Government knew the impact the ban would have.”
The final report was considered by both Premier Mike Baird and Dr John Keniry who headed up the Greyhound Racing Transition Taskforce.
It was Dr Keniry's report, influenced by his visit in September to the Northern Rivers to meet with greyhound industry members as well as Richmond Valley and Lismore Councils, which confirmed the industry is ready to undertake serious reform.
"We acted quickly to assess the impact the proposed ban would have on our community,” general manager Vaughan Macdonald said.
"We talked to the Casino Greyhound Racing Club, local trainers and supporting businesses to identify that a ban would see a significant economic loss that would hit our local economy very hard.
"Richmond Valley Council's leadership and advocacy is highly valued by our community and the quick actions we took on this issue highlights what Council does to support our people.”
Cr Mustow also praised local member Chris Gulaptis MP acknowledging the 'courageous' stance he took on the issue.
"Chris' courage has now been followed by the Premier and his cabinet in overturning the ban, as they realised the serious economic and social impacts it would have on regional NSW,” he said.
Summary of projected impacts if the ban proceeded
Richmond Valley Council's Economic and Social Impact Assessment Report identified that the ban would impact the Richmond Valley through:
- A loss of $10.54 million to the local economy
- The loss of 49 jobs
- A loss of $2.45 million in salaries
- Significant impacts on supporting industries and serious mental health and social welfare issues for those who would no longer be able to sustain a greyhound training and racing operation which includes looking after retired greyhounds.
The report also includes case studies of the impacts the ban would have on local trainers, pet supplies shops and veterinarians.