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Baird surrendered to save own skin: Foley

AAP logoAAP 15/10/2016 Lisa Robinson

NSW Premier Mike Baird only backflipped on the greyhounds ban to save his own skin, opposition leader Luke Foley says.

The state Labor leader's comments come days after Mr Baird reversed the ban on greyhound racing due to mounting pressure.

'In the end people power did win and the man who said his principle was unbending, he'd always do what he thought was right, he'd never simply chase votes, capitulated last Tuesday," Mr Foley told Sky News on Sunday.

He said Mr Baird's reputation as a "good and virtuous man" has been ripped apart.

"He and his spin doctors have led us to believe he's a man on a higher moral plane than the rest of us in politics," Mr Foley said.

"I think that last Tuesday we learnt that actually saving his own skin is the most important principle for him.

"Clearly he's just another politician."

Mr Foley said the upcoming by-election in Orange - a safe National Party seat - posed a risk given the area's strong protest to the greyhound ban, and was the real reason for Mr Baird's backflip.

With the premier poised to reshuffle his cabinet, Mr Foley said he should immediately replace Health Minister Jillian Skinner following a series of errors including the death of a baby from a faulty gas pipeline.

"We had unspeakable, terrible tragedies occur in our hospital system and the health minister preferred to go to the theatre rather than engage with the families," Mr Foley said.

He also said Labor MPs will get a conscience vote if the euthanasia debate comes back before state parliament, despite not being "a fan" of euthanasia himself.

"I worry about the message we would send as a society to our most vulnerable citizens - old, frail people, many of whom I know are wracked with worry that they're a burden on their adult children," Mr Foley said.

"I think there have been great advances in assisting people who live with terminal illness but I am not a fan personally of euthanasia laws."

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