Labor and the Greens out of step with community values

Mark Parton MLA 27 February 2018 81
Community Values: the 'people's dog'.

Community Values: the ‘people’s dog’.

As the dogs raced to the home turn, the noise from the onlookers grew and the arms began to wave. Community Values, ‘the people’s dog’ turned for home two lengths clear and the crowd erupted.

“We love you Nugget!” cried one emotional grandmother.

“I wish Andrew Barr could see this!” was the call from a young punter surrounded by his mates.

Why all the passion and commotion?

This Labor-Greens government has made the big call to shut down greyhound racing in the ACT because….well it’s difficult to know exactly why, other than it’s a part of the Labor-Greens power-sharing agreement.

Although there have been some very serious animal welfare issues identified within the sport, none of them have originated from here in the ACT. The Canberra Greyhound Racing Club has a 28-year unblemished record in the animal welfare space and if anything, it’s been a model of how a greyhound track should be run.

Initially, when Chief Minister Andrew Barr announced there was no future for greyhound racing in the ACT, it was in response to the NSW ban. It was his assertion that, practically speaking, if NSW ceased racing, it would be impossible for the ACT to continue. When NSW backed down, Barr held his line irrespective.

Last year when I questioned Gordon Ramsay, the Minister for Regulatory Services, over the reasons for the impending ban, he said that, “Greyhound racing was out of step with community values in the ACT”, but offered no proof of this assertion.

I figured I’d test that belief. I attempted, by syndicate, an unraced greyhound back in October, announcing the project in a speech in the chamber of the Legislative Assembly. I made it clear that I was looking for 20 people who had no previous involvement with greyhound racing and that it would cost them each $300.

“Surely as greyhound racing is so far out of step with community values in the ACT, we’ll have no takers,” I said to the Minister.

The syndicate was fully subscribed in less than an hour and the dog they purchased was officially named Community Values. Community Values, or ‘Nugget’ as his friends call him, came from Victoria in November and went into the care of Lesley Hannaford at Bungendore. He commenced his racing career in late January and finished second in his first three attempts.

On Sunday night, he finally drew an inside box and pinged straight to the front before running away with an emphatic victory in very slick time. The reaction at the track was remarkable. There were tears from some syndicate members and high fives all over the course.

The local greyhound community has been belted by the Labor-Greens government and this little dog gives them all hope.

It’s difficult to understand how ACT Labor and the Greens could get this so wrong. The lack of process and the elitist arrogance shown to these people is breathtaking.

And as for Nugget himself, it’s abundantly clear that he loves racing. Once he gets to the track, he’s difficult to restrain. His excitement is a joy to watch. The tail never stops wagging and he tries to leap in the air as he’s being led to the boxes.

The definition of animal cruelty would be trying to explain to Nugget that he wasn’t allowed to race anymore, that greyhound racing was banned because it was cruel. Nugget would just not understand.

Nugget will continue racing if the ACT ban comes into place, it’s just that it’ll be over the border in Goulburn and the soon to be constructed new track at Queanbeyan.

I just wonder what the point of it all was.

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81 Responses to Labor and the Greens out of step with community values
TimboinOz TimboinOz 10:51 pm 08 Mar 18

For a long time I was a pretty keen leftie, and a small g greenie. Bought a home that ran due East-West and all that.

How many home built since this coalition started are well oriented? I’d be willing to bet that most of them are NOT. done to maximise the revenue.

It has taken me a long while to realise that people aren’t actually left or right, but are either truly interested in what’s right for most of us and for the planet and the authoritarians.

For over a decade I rode a bicycle to work from the top of Kambah to the Parliamentary triangle for work. I avoided riding on roads and especially any 80kmh or higher examples. This was when traffic densities were far lower than now. Yet I still got pushed off the road a few times.

This current coalition fits the authoritarian frame way more than they will be able to recognise.

I wouldn’t like to use Tony Abbott as an exemplar for anything, except this kind of refusal to look at facts. In his case over Climate Change and the Western world’s role.

A similar exemplar is the bike lanes and the new laws aimed at blaming the majority – car drivers who need one to manage their lives and time – when this coalition have upped the risks to bicyclists by encouraging them into a very, very risky situation. It is a ‘we are right, you are wrong’ approach!

It is obvious to me that more cyclists will be injured and more seriously than before this set of policies were instituted. I do wonder if we will be allowed to know.

Sadly the alternative probably aren’t capable of offering anything coherent or fair, or environmentally sound, either.

Shannon Boyd Shannon Boyd 7:55 pm 03 Mar 18

It’s time the majority of ACT residents show the Greens /Labour Government they are the ones out of touch .
But it won’t happen because it’s the Australian way to say “ it don’t affect me , so I don’t care”
Look what the act has already banned Circus , now greyhound racing , All because the noisy minority.
How Labour in all states and federal government can team up with the protesting greens beats me . The greens in all states are out of touch with normal Australians
The greens were formed to save trees etc .
Maybe they been smoking them to long .

Darren Mulqueen Darren Mulqueen 11:45 am 03 Mar 18

All of the dog killing industry tracks should be shut. This isn't difficult to understand.

Chris Coleman Chris Coleman 9:06 pm 02 Mar 18

Amazing that the RSPCA in Canberra refused point blank to work with the club that has the cleanest record in the country and help get a jackbooted ban forced through with the help of the Greens in a grubby play to keep the ALP in government.

Wouldn’t have anything to do with where the RSPCA gets a massive whack of its funding in the ACT would it?

In all other jurisdictions as far as I know, the RSPCA works WITH greyhound racing bodies. And yet there were still a couple of welfare issues in those states.

And how much worth can truly be placed in that body’s word any more? Check out Media Watch on the ABC’s iView from February 19th. An organisation that once used to be genuinely about animal welfare now has much more questionable motives and method of operation.

The whole thing is a bloody disgrace.

Wade Bermingham Wade Bermingham 5:32 pm 02 Mar 18

9 times out of 10 all they need to do is enforce the laws or up them a touch. I saw this as the typical knee jerk reaction to look like we're doing the thing

bryansworld bryansworld 5:03 am 02 Mar 18

What about all the dogs that are culled because they are not regarded as fast enough?

    Mark Parton MLA Mark Parton MLA 9:47 am 02 Mar 18

    The Canberra Greyhound Club has a 100% rehoming policy. Over many years in so many ways, this club has led the way in the animal welfare space.

    bryansworld bryansworld 3:51 am 03 Mar 18

    What about the dogs from interstate that run in Canberra sometimes?

    Are any dogs injured during races?

    Grimm Grimm 9:50 am 02 Mar 18

    What about all the animals that are put down by the RSPCA etc because they can’t sell them? How is that any better?

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 8:18 am 05 Mar 18

    What about the slow horses that meet the same fate?

Gabriel Spacca Gabriel Spacca 11:48 pm 01 Mar 18

There are lots of things to criticise the current government for. This isn’t one of them.

    Charles Godworth Charles Godworth 9:36 pm 02 Mar 18

    You do know it's not about the racing ban? It's about the lack of consultation the government had with the industry. A decision that has affected people's livelihoods.

    You can see how that lack of consultation now pervades every decision in the ACT. It's an abuse of power.

Jen Dee Jen Dee 9:04 pm 01 Mar 18

I think the ban is absolutely in step with community values

    Christmas Cauliffe Christmas Cauliffe 9:26 pm 01 Mar 18

    No, you think it's in step with YOUR community values. Unless you have a decent polling figure from a sizeable portion of the public (not 600 targeted voters) then you can't predict what the community actually values

John Garvey John Garvey 5:00 pm 01 Mar 18

Great news that Greyhound racing is banned in the ACT. Let’s hope that NSW and other states follow soon.

    Mark Parton MLA Mark Parton MLA 5:07 pm 01 Mar 18

    John, I've got a funny feeling that NSW isn't going to follow anytime soon. Both the major parties in NSW support the sport and indeed ACT Labor is pretty much the only Labor branch in Australia advocating a ban.

    Lori J Tas Lori J Tas 5:20 pm 01 Mar 18

    I suspect SA and Tas will be next, then Vic and then the rest.

    David Jackson David Jackson 7:15 pm 01 Mar 18

    Mark it seems you are being trolled by the greenie brigade?

    Joe McFadyen Joe McFadyen 7:26 pm 01 Mar 18

    Just wait til they show up with their fake profiles to make it look like they have more supporters than they do... It’s a sad existence.

    Craig Taliano Craig Taliano 7:27 pm 01 Mar 18

    LJ Tas 😂😂😂 Victoria are the sporting capital, they will never ban any sport. Jumps racing is booming down there and they are only one of two states that still have jumps Racing. Tasmania will never Ban the greyhounds, more money turned over on Greyhounds than either of the two other codes means that the Greyhounds are propping up the Tasmanian Racing industry as a whole. That’s ok, you can sound like you know what you are talking about and fool people that don’t have any knowledge of the subject - but when you are talking to people who have understanding of the subject you just look like a fool!!

    Lori J Tas Lori J Tas 7:29 am 02 Mar 18

    I believe Victoria was the first to ban dog fights, it will from Vic that the news laws banning Toscas and Corso fighting breens came in the 1990s, it now has the tightest restrictions on dog breeding passed last year, the animal welfare groups are strongest in those three states, both SA and Tas have had anti greyhound racing laws proposed with sigificant political backers already, which is why I think they'll be next after the ACT.

    James Lee James Lee 10:07 pm 02 Mar 18

    LJ Tas lol yeah I’d say there’s a better chance of Bob Hawke making a come back then Greyhounds being banned 👍

Andrea Kerr Andrea Kerr 4:55 pm 01 Mar 18

I don’t find it difficult to understand

Margaret Freemantle Margaret Freemantle 4:28 pm 01 Mar 18

No valid reason to shut it down at all.

    Kirstie Morriss Kirstie Morriss 1:55 pm 02 Mar 18

    Other than the fact that the dogs live in social isolation, are put at constant risk of injury, regularly euthanized due to poor performance or injury, drugged, live baited and discarded at the end of their racing life.

    Pretty valid reasons I'd say!

    Mark Parton Mark Parton 3:30 pm 02 Mar 18

    Nugget is pretty much treated like a rock star at home, he loves running really fast, he has a forever home lined up, he's certainly never been drugged, it's impossible to live bait in the ACT as there is only one mechanical lure which is under 24/7 video surveillance and he certainly will never be discarded. He fits the model that I've see time and time again here in Canberra. I understand that there are some diabolical people who have done some diabolical things in the context of this sport. They are unacceptable. But these people in Canberra have done nothing wrong

    Margaret Freemantle Margaret Freemantle 4:53 pm 02 Mar 18

    Kirstie, read Mark patrons reply- the vast majority of greyhound owners really love their dogs- you have read something bad and painted that picture, that does not reflect the truth for most dog owners, and particularly in the ACT where there has been no evidence of any of your comments

Charles Godworth Charles Godworth 4:24 pm 01 Mar 18

Double standards. The greens & labor hate the greyhound industry and thus shut it down. Whilst on the other hand are happy to take funding from the horse racing industry.

I asked the greens how they can ban one sport whilst backing another.

The silence from them was obvious they have zero idea what they are doing.

    Mark Parton Mark Parton 4:38 pm 01 Mar 18

    Here in the ACT, they will continue take funding that comes directly from the turnover on greyhound racing....even after the ban. The ACT Govt receives around a million dollars from Tabcorp each year following the sale of ACTTAB. That money was always supposed to go straight back to the the racing codes. The turnover on greyhound racing as a percentage of the 3 codes is up at around 22% and climbing. Thus, the ACT Govt after banning greyhound racing will continue to accept around a quarter of a million each year directly from this ‘evil practice’ of greyhound racing.

    Joe McFadyen Joe McFadyen 5:07 pm 01 Mar 18

    The Greens hate Greyhound Racing - Libs/Labor are indifferent - However Labor in the ACT have proven they will do deals with the Devil to keep a bit of power. This decision has nothing to do with animal welfare and those that think it does are having themselves on.

    Alan Smith Alan Smith 5:12 pm 01 Mar 18

    Ironically the heart of greyhound racing beats for Labor politically.

    Joe McFadyen Joe McFadyen 5:21 pm 01 Mar 18

    Just goes to show how much Labor has changed from what it once was.

justin heywood justin heywood 2:37 pm 01 Mar 18

Good luck with that Mark, but I’m afraid you’re in the wrong team.

How many Green-Left voters would you see at the average greyhound meeting?

The greyhound industry is such an easy target for a government like Barr’s – kick a few bogans with absolutely no risk of alienating any of their supporters.

Meanwhile, our loveable cats kill millions of our native species EVERY NIGHT*; but hey, lets not let reality interrupt our moral grandstanding.


    Garfield Garfield 4:35 pm 01 Mar 18

    I think you’d find the majority of greyhound enthusiasts are more working class rather than middle or upper and as such would normally be more likely to be Labor voters than anything else. Of course with this decision by Labor & the Greens that could well change next election, but I don’t think there’s enough people who would change their votes as a result of the ban to make a difference to who wins government.

    In regards to cats, I think you’ll find that most people, including cat lovers, don’t think of feral cats as loveable, but rather as pests. You’re lumping in pets with feral animals when the research I’ve read says the average pet cat that is neutered, well fed and kept indoors at night doesn’t hunt much in comparison. Just like dangerous dogs, what’s most needed in regards to pet cats is education of owners and enforcement of existing laws with maybe a little tinkering – like registration to ensure neutering and overnight curfews.

    justin heywood justin heywood 5:56 pm 01 Mar 18

    Yes Garfield, I see what your point and agree that the greyhound industry IS generally ‘working class’, ‘salt of the earth’, ‘battlers’ etc. – but I would argue that Barr and his support base are not traditional working class Labor, but Green-Left, which has a focus on inner-city residents and their particular sensibilities. I don’t think Barr and his ilk would have anything in common with the average greyhound enthusiast.

    In regard to domestic cats, if you read the linked report on the US study, it is not just referring to feral cats; around half of domestic cats were on the prowl as well.

    As you say, more education and tighter controls would help stop the slaughter and cruelty, but the same can be said for the greyhound industry.

    Mark Parton MLA Mark Parton MLA 4:59 pm 01 Mar 18

    When I go to the Greys here in Canberra on a Sunday night I talk to a helluva lot of former ALP voters. To some extent they were ‘heartland Labor people’, They feel well and truly abandoned now.

Mark Parton MLA Mark Parton MLA 2:29 pm 01 Mar 18

Considering the fallout from the last attempt to ban in NSW, I dare say it will be a long long time before either the Libs or Labor attempt that again.

Lori J Tas Lori J Tas 1:19 pm 01 Mar 18

That it clearly reflects the will of the majority, and is a win for animals.

If people want to watch sprinting, volunteer at your local athletics club.

    Craig Taliano Craig Taliano 1:47 pm 01 Mar 18

    Hey LJ Tas because of this ban in the ACT you will soon be able to watch Greyhound Racing in your own town of Queanbeyan! It will be 4km closer to you than where the track is currently located!!

    Lori J Tas Lori J Tas 1:49 pm 01 Mar 18

    My guess is in about 6 to 8 yrs it will be banned in NSW as well, nation wide in about 10 years.

    We're one of only about 10 nations that still does dog racing, its dying out.

    I'm glad the ACT track can be turned into a facility for people, maybe one day my kids can sprint round the track, instead of dogs.

    Alan Smith Alan Smith 5:10 pm 01 Mar 18

    LJ Tas you'd be guessing wrong.

    They tried in NSW you may recall and the Govt and its Premier paid the the price.

    Racing is here to stay. Deal with it.

    Lori J Tas Lori J Tas 5:16 pm 01 Mar 18

    Alan there will be no more Grey Hound races in the ACT after the 30th of April.

    In NSW it will take longer (my guess is 6 to 8 years) the tide is turning, not enough young people are interested in real dog racing for it to be viable in the long term. Maybe that CGI stuff at the TAB and Clubs might continue (so govts can get their revenue), but actual greyhounds racing is going to decline until it gets killed off by govts following the will of the majority of people.

    Hopefully all the Greys on your Facebook page have got a long life ahead of them staying with you, snoozing on your couch and going for walks and runs at the park every day till they pass from old age.

    Lori J Tas Lori J Tas 5:34 pm 01 Mar 18

    2012 ABS sports and recreation survey showed a 1.6% increase in the number of people that attended dog races from 2005-6 to 2009-10, (about 280,000 ppl total) during which time the population grew by 1.9%, thus an overall decline in interest, there hasn't been any new data collected since 2010, but when I see the scalps of people attending dog races, I see a lot of grey hairs

    Lori J Tas Lori J Tas 5:36 pm 01 Mar 18

    Investors guide, says investing (pardon the pun) is a dog of a decision

    Lori J Tas Lori J Tas 6:04 pm 01 Mar 18

    (Why do you all keep deleting your posts?)

    Mark Parton Mark Parton 6:11 pm 01 Mar 18

    Turnover on greyhound racing as a percentage continues to increase around the nation

    Lori J Tas Lori J Tas 6:24 pm 01 Mar 18

    Thanks to CGI dogs, the punting is up, but that is the death nell of actual dog racing.

    I can't see any evidence that it is increasing (in fact I can see the reverese in attendence and profitability from the links above) have you got statistics from an independent source you could show?

    Alan Smith Alan Smith 6:58 pm 01 Mar 18

    Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) has recorded a 4.7% uplift in wagering turnover for the 2016/17 period, highlighting the increasing popularity of greyhound racing for punters and fans alike.

    Turnover on NSW greyhound racing for the 12 month period totalled a record $1.314 billion, reflecting the heightened confidence the betting public has in the industry. This comes despite a 1.9% reduction in NSW TAB meetings held in the period.

    Corporate bookmakers continued to drive the positive wagering performance of NSW greyhound racing by generating turnover of $568 million for the year, a huge rise of 19.2% compared to 2015/16. This resulted in corporate bookmakers holding a market share of 43.2% of wagering turnover on NSW greyhounds, a new high for this sector.

    Lori J Tas Lori J Tas 7:00 pm 01 Mar 18

    Do you have any breakdown on what punting is CGI vs real dogs?

    Matthew Smith Matthew Smith 7:03 pm 01 Mar 18

    CGI turnover is not included in those figures - trackside (its moniker) is seperately reported as its a product provided by the tab. What is reported at the link above is turnover on actual events put on in nsw. Australian racing fact book has summary turnover data for all three codes.

    Attendance at racing has been in decline for a long time across all three codes - that is a long established trend.

    Turnover is the usual measure used and reported as its the basis in most jurisdictions on which funding of the industry is largely calculated from (ie industry gets x% of turnover as funding).

    Alan Smith Alan Smith 7:07 pm 01 Mar 18

    The majority of punters, like the majority of sports fans, prefer to watch on t.v. and punt accordingly.

    Attendance numbers are irrelevant.

    Lori J Tas Lori J Tas 7:07 pm 01 Mar 18

    So the figure above is turnover, not profit, which means those numbers arent inconsistent with the investing (aka profitability) advice linked to above, seems odd they're reporting turnover?

    (As a side point I'm not so convinced of the independence of the 'the dogs' page but thats a separate issue?)

    Alan Smith Alan Smith 7:09 pm 01 Mar 18

    Turnover is always used.

    I'm done. Can't be bothered arguing with you.

    See you in 10 years.

    Lori J Tas Lori J Tas 7:09 pm 01 Mar 18

    Seems highly implausible fewer people trackside isnt a bad sign for the industry

    Lori J Tas Lori J Tas 7:14 pm 01 Mar 18

    Goodnight; give your dogs a hug from me

    Joe McFadyen Joe McFadyen 7:22 pm 01 Mar 18

    Trackside has nothing to do with Greyhounds as we sold our rights to it years ago.... Guess again LJ.

    As for numbers trackside there’s millions of people in homes, pubs & clubs who can have a bet, you don’t have to be at a track.

    Lori J Tas Lori J Tas 9:06 pm 01 Mar 18

    True, and you dont need the greyhound industry to bet either.

    Christmas Cauliffe Christmas Cauliffe 9:22 pm 01 Mar 18

    But trackside is based off rng where as racing is based off dogs ability. No real punter is going to wager large amounts of money on a program run off behind the scenes algorithms. And if you think you are doing these dogs a favour by shutting down the industry then you'll be sorry if it actually happens and thousands of dogs are put down because the industry that provides for them isn't viable. The dogs you are trying to "save" you are actually, literally, going to get destroyed

    Lori J Tas Lori J Tas 9:31 pm 01 Mar 18

    Only of you're willing to be destroyers, I'm hoping you're better than that.

    Lori J Tas Lori J Tas 9:38 pm 01 Mar 18

    Those of us who care take in as much as we can, it's time for trainers, punters and breeders to be better, give the dogs a spot on your couches, take them for daily romps in the park, till they pass from old age.

    Lori J Tas Lori J Tas 9:40 pm 01 Mar 18

    There are hundreds of greyhounds in the ACT.

    Lori J Tas Lori J Tas 9:41 pm 01 Mar 18

    It's time for trainers, punters and breeders to be better, give all dogs bred (slow or not) a spot on your couches, take them for daily romps in the park, till they pass from old age.

    Lori J Tas Lori J Tas 1:33 pm 02 Mar 18

    I know it happens some time, but I also know that of every litter of 5, usually only 1 or 2 make it to their second birthday because they're slow runners, and of those 1 or 2, the majority end up at rescue groups.

    You can look up the (allegedly under reported) birth stats, and 2 years later the stats on 2yr old greyhounds, the number registered is far far less than the number born 2 years before (its about 1.5 in 5).

    I used to work at a uni that got (in a year) almost 100 greyhounds cheap from track rehoming for uni students to practice dental surgery and experiment on, and once the experiments were done, they got euthanised.

    Knowing people who work in greyhound rescue, theyve shown me recordings of agressive phone calls they get weekly, where trainers are saying "if you don't come and collect the slow ones this weekend, we will shoot them" (and shooting dogs in the head is totally legal).

    Lori J Tas Lori J Tas 1:39 pm 02 Mar 18

    Here is another uni, who made the news for the experiments on ex racers, they're cheaper than lab beagles

    Lori J Tas Lori J Tas 1:40 pm 02 Mar 18

    And here's another example from a different uni, and still not the one I was at.

    Lori J Tas Lori J Tas 1:42 pm 02 Mar 18

    So Steph, as you can see its not an assumption, its both first hand knowledge and a review of the statistical evidence, that has informed my view.

    Bill Whittle Bill Whittle 10:10 pm 02 Mar 18

    Greyhounds is the largest growth area for young people out of the three codes of racing. Like a lot of sports the ability to view on television has made the live race less appealing. Greyhound racing has even more appeal to watch on tv because you can watch 5 or so meetings a night instead of one.

    Michele Crosswell Michele Crosswell 10:20 pm 02 Mar 18

    LJ Tas is that allyou stupid people can come up with refer to the greyhound site cant you come up with anythink new

    Lori J Tas Lori J Tas 10:26 pm 02 Mar 18

    They've been battling with grey hound racing for about 20 years? Really actively for about 5? And have it ended it in 1 state/territory out of 8 in this country, with 2 more having proposed laws that end it (which I suspect will be passed within 4/6 years?). It wasn't the Greens in the ACT that got the law changed, it was Labor.

    Other countries have banned it, other countries have banned steeplechasing, and restricted or ended horse racing.

    The tide is turning, you can pretend it isnt, but angrily building sandcastles to keep the tide out, won't stop it.

Jinko Tszyu Jinko Tszyu 1:12 pm 01 Mar 18

Completely agree with Mark, the ban is simply ridiculous.

Garfield Garfield 11:20 am 01 Mar 18

When the NSW report was released, I was somewhat supportive of shutting down greyhound racing. However as further evidence, or rather lack thereof, came to light regarding the ACT club, I switched to supporting it continuing. I find the idea of dogs or horses or cars racing around a track uninteresting, but understand some people like it and its not for me to pass judgement on their personal interests. I think the ACT Labor-Greens government was absolutely wrong to ban it, but I doubt its an issue that really has much resonance amongst the broader community either way. While I’m sure people involved in greyhound racing appreciate Mark Parton’s efforts, I wonder if his party’s future would have been better served by him spending more time on the issue of the government taking community facility zoned land to build replacement public housing for that lost due to the tram.

    Mark Parton MLA Mark Parton MLA 12:46 pm 01 Mar 18

    Garfield, your’s is a familiar story. We’ve watched the public tide turn on this. The loud voices of the ‘Anti’s’ are still heard way above the general crowd, but we’ve certainly seen a shift in the attitude of many to this issue. In regard to the community facility zoned land, we’ve done a lot of work in this space, but ultimately on the floor of the chamber there’s 11 of us and 14 of them. We’ll continue to do whatever we can, but ultimately the electorate must make a decision in 2020 to allow us to have greater impact. I certainly hope that’s the case

    Garfield Garfield 4:56 pm 01 Mar 18

    With respect Mark, there’s a lot more you as the responsible shadow minister and the Liberal Party should have done to raise awareness in regards to community facilities land. From my perspective all you did was jump on the band wagon of outrage from people in the immediate vicinity of the developments and that was it. You did nothing to inform the rest of the community, most of whom have their heads in the sand in regards to ACT politics, as to why it was a bad thing. You have been at least 10 times more visible on the greyhounds than on this when the relative importance is the other way around. Maybe there were other things you wanted to do in the space and you didn’t have support from the leadership team. Maybe as a new MLA at the time you didn’t see the importance of it or know what else you could do. Whatever actually went on behind closed doors this was something the leader should have identified as a major issue, and opportunity for the party, and had it up there just one step below the stinking land swap deal. Instead he and some other senior Liberal MLA’s seemed to take the attitude that they could take it easy for a year after losing in 2016. You talk about the electorate needing to allow you to have a greater impact, but your Party needs to give them reasons to vote Liberal, and this was a huge missed opportunity.

    Mark Parton MLA Mark Parton MLA 8:59 pm 01 Mar 18

    I appreciate your personal perspective on this and I take it on board. With respect, I’ve only been the Planning Shadow for 3 weeks. It was a little outside of my remit last year. I’ve worked extremely hard in all of my portfolios areas and in working for constituents in my electorate. Some things that I’ve done in the public space have received more traction than others, which is not always reflective of the work that has gone into those things.

Grail Grail 10:29 am 01 Mar 18

Where did Community Values come from? Where are his siblings?

You hav created a specific case of hand crafted cherry-picking, which does nothing to address the issues of animal cruelty in the wider greyhound racing community. You have one dog, you aren’t breeding dogs to race. You trained one dog, not a litter. You race one dog, not a collection. You got lucky with one dog, rather than having to race a dozen before finding one that would place first or second. You have not had to face the prospect of rehoming a dog when the community already has enough greyhounds. You haven’t had to figure out what to do with dozens of animals that aren’t earning their keep.

You are running a stunt, not a racing industry.

Community Values is an exceptional dog for many reasons, and using this stunt to make a statement about the greyhound racing industry at large is pretty bone headed, even by your standards.

    Grimm Grimm 4:12 pm 01 Mar 18

    Not as bone headed as it is to believe racing dogs should be banned because of the actions of a few idiots in another state.
    Why cant Mark cherry pick if the opposition are allowed to?
    Talk about a flawed argument.

    Mark Parton MLA Mark Parton MLA 5:05 pm 01 Mar 18

    So….you’re suggesting that anyone who purchases an animal from anyone should do a family tree check on said animal so that they can account for that animals siblings ? I have no idea where it’s siblings are. Nugget was purchased from rural Victoria. Ramsay and Barr were, at the time suggesting that greyhound racing was ‘out of step with community values in the ACT.’ The formation of the Community Values syndicate was to establish that there were many Canberrans who would get on board a concept like this and put their money on the table….instantly. And they did. I understand the symbolism of Community Values, but that symbolism gives some people hope. And as for rehoming….the fight will be between the 20 syndicate members because most them want to keep him when he’s done.

    chewy14 chewy14 5:08 pm 01 Mar 18

    The regulations and regulators are the ones supposed to deal with the issues you raise and there are perfectly reasonable ways for them to implement controls that cover the risks of animal cruelty in the sport.

    You’re right, Mark isn’t running the sport or dealing with the issues, but it seems like the Government doesn’t want to do their job either which is why they’ve cravenly bowed to the Greens pressure.
    Knowing that they can still receive the money from gambling on the sport, without it costing them too much politically as there aren’t that many participants in the ACT.

    I think people might think differently if the government started treating other industries in the same manner.

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