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NSW greyhound ban due to be legislated

AAP logoAAP 10/08/2016 By Stefanie Menezes

Legislation ending greyhound racing in NSW is likely to be passed within weeks after the controversial bill was fast-tracked through parliament by the Baird government.

It was expected the laws would be debated in the lower house later this month after passing through the Legislative Council late on Wednesday night.

But Deputy Premier Troy Grant rushed back to parliament following a press conference at Sydney's Opera House on Thursday morning to introduce the legislation for debate by MPs.

"We recognise that the people who are affected need to know what will be available to them so they can plan for the future," Mr Grant said as he tabled the Greyhound Racing Prohibition bill.

"To that end, the government commits that it will announce its package of measures of help and support in three months from the passing of this legislation."

The government will consult widely with the industry to provide the right amount of financial assistance, he said.

Its package will also include training programs to help those in the industry find new jobs, business advice and a specialised mental health service.

Labor, the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (SFF) and Christian Democrats failed in their attempts to scupper the bill's speedy passage through the upper house after Liberal MP Duncan successfully sought to declare the legislation urgent.

The move was labelled a "farce" by Labor's Peter Primrose, who says the Opposition was given a copy of the legislation just 10 minutes before parliamentary proceedings commenced.

The SFF's Robert Brown meanwhile condemned the coalition for rejecting amendments guaranteeing compensation for the greyhound industry and putting restrictions on public land previously used for racing, labelling the ban a "bloody disgrace".

Debate on the new laws in the lower house was adjourned to the next sitting week scheduled for the end of August.

Labor's spokesman for racing, Michael Daley, immediately moved to introduce a bill to reverse the ban and instead set up a new regulator to reform the industry.

He also urged those Nationals MP's who have spoken out against the ban to break ranks with the Liberals and block the legislation in parliament.

"The National Party has made a mistake and I feel sorry for many of their MPs," Mr Daley told parliament.

"(But) the disappointment they hold in this erroneous decision by their leadership pales in significance to the disappointment that the National Party constituency in the bush now holds from them," he said.

Anyone caught organising a race will face up to a year in jail and a maximum $11,000 fine after the ban comes into place from July 1 next year.

The proposed laws will also forbid people to export greyhounds to other states without the written consent of Greyhound Racing NSW before the ban takes effect.

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