6 July 2022

Probing the polls: green electricity and funding horse racing

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Horse racing

Should the ACT Government fund horse racing? Photo: File.

Amid mounting energy woes around the country, the ACT has been a standout as the value of long-term renewable energy contracts becomes clearer. But not all of you are convinced about the worth for ordinary consumers.

Canberra’s current lower bills come courtesy of the ACT Government’s 2012 decision to enter into renewable energy contracts at a time when there was a great deal of uncertainty in the industry and prices were low.

But it’s not all plain sailing into a wind and solar-powered future: last year, electricity prices increased by an average of $3.76 per week for a typical Canberra household due to a 36.91 per cent increase in network costs.

We asked, Do you support the ACT’s renewable energy commitment? A total of 487 readers voted.

Your choices to vote were: No, it’s an expensive frolic from the Government. This received 44 per cent of the total, or 212 votes.

Alternatively, you could choose to vote Yes, it’s clean, green and now cheaper than elsewhere. This received 56 per cent of the total, or 275 votes.

This week, we’re wondering what you think about the future of horse racing in the ACT.

The Greens are saying time’s ups on public funding for the sport, but the government wants to update its current funding deal with the local industry for another five years.

The ACT Government currently provides millions of dollars in subsidies to the industry as part of an updated Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Canberra Racing Club and the Harness Racing Club. A new deal would be worth $40 million over five years, or an annual contribution of around $7.5 million from the public purse.

READ ALSO Greens refuse to back $40 million government funding for horse racing

Negotiations are currently underway to extend that agreement, but when the draft MoU went to Cabinet last week, Greens Ministers formally refused to support it.

Jared James wrote: “I’ve driven by the horse racing place in Canberra a bunch of times. It’s always completely empty. I doubt anything much goes on there anymore and it certainly only employs a few people to keep the grass mowed.

“Time to call a spade a spade. It’s just another grift by the racing industry to secure funding from somewhere. I doubt anyone in Canberra would even notice if it disappeared.”

John Kovacs asked about the horse racing industry, casinos, and the influx of online gambling.

“Are they a helpful, productive part of society? Do ordinary people and animals benefit?”

But Nick Tyrrell observed, “Never get between the Greens and your money”.

“Horseracing ACT raises money for the government, and gets some of it back. If it leaves the ACT, there’s less money for public services. Slow clap.”

This week, we’re wondering:

Do you think the ACT taxpayer should support the horse racing industry?

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Horse racing employs trainers, jockeys, track workers, stable hands, vets, farriers, transport companies, feed merchants,TAB staff and administrators in the ACT. It does the same for people on the periphery of the ACT. It brings in owners to watch their horses from outside the ACT particularly during Carnival times. These people spend money on accommodation, meals, fuel and other items. All cash coming in to the ACT from outside the area. The TAB determines racing dates with Fridays predominating for the thoroughbreds unless its a Carnival and Monday nights for harness racing so you don’t see a lot of people actually attending but the betting turnover commission sees the racing clubs bringing money into the ACT. Racing is also an adult entertainment amenity in a city not over burdened with non-high culture entertainment options. The horses are treated well and are rehomed at the end of their careers. I’m sure that there are many high culture pursuits in Canberra that are propped up by government funding to accommodate minimal numbers of devotees. maybe these should be curtailed if attendance numbers is a criterion.

“The horses are treated well and are rehomed at the end of their careers.” Not the ones that end up in pet food cans.

Astro,
Of which there are now almost none.

Although even if they did, what exactly would be the problem?

We use animals for food and other products every day, why would horses be special?

“Of which there are almost none” Yes, let’s just pretend eh, such fun to live in a fantasy world. Not to mention of course those that are literally flogged to death on the racing circuit. Ooops, quickly just put up a canvas cover around them, you know, so the kiddies don’t see their last dying breaths. Enjoy your fantasy Chewy and if you think it’s such fun, I suggest you try running around a race track (being whipped at the same tine) until you collapse. Jolly fun what!

Don’t need to pretend Astro, when racehorses are actively tracked by the industry bodies to prevent them going to the knackery. The amount is small considering the industry as a whole.

But of course you now attempt to change the issue to deaths on track, to which there are also relatively few.

I’m assuming from your commentary though Astro that you must be a committed vegan who only uses products that don’t cause the deaths of any animals correct?

Even including rodents and insects that typically are killed In bulk in the production of most grain and vegetable crops?

Capital Retro10:16 am 07 Jul 22

Apparently man-made climate change doesn’t happen in China and that’s why the unelected UN give them exemptions on emissions.

I’ve never seen anyone demanding “action on climate change” outside the Chinese Embassy either.

@Capital Retro

Sorry, CR, as I said in response to your same comment below – I do need to digress … just exactly what do you mean by “unelected UN”?

I’ve seen this claptrap from you before and just put it down to the typical nonsensical ravings we have come to expect from you – but you now are using the term frequently.

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization – you know like the Commonwealth of Nations, OECD, G20, WTO and a myriad of other commercial and strategic alliances of which Australia is a member?

So perhaps you can explain to us, exactly why the UN (and indeed any of the other organizations I’ve mentioned) needs to be “elected”?

I note that the last time Capital Retro came out with rubbish on climate (recently, as one might guess) he was challenged by different people to support his views and, of course, did not but promptly disappeared, to pop up here. It appears to be a form of survival mechanism, to hang on blindly to spurious belief rather than face any facts which might threaten it; a fearful approach to life.
CR’s comments on this topic are always risible yet such follies can be destructive so others must point them out again and again.

Capital Retro9:22 pm 09 Jul 22

The UN does not represent my values, that’s why they need to be elected.

OK, Capital Retro, so you are a masochist then.

The UN Charter gives the General Assembly the power to initiate studies and make recommendations to promote the development and codification of international law.

Just as the Labor Party (thankfully) doesn’t represent your values, Capital Retro, and against your fervent wishes, they were elected; even if the UN was a legislative body – which would justify elections, you’d just be on the losing side again.

I would have preferred a one part question: Should the government still be subsidising horse racing? That is separate from whether horse racing should continue. Also racing occurs on land given by the government – a significant ongoing contribution – especially if it is then used for money-generating housing.

Most of our power comes from coal, the same coal that china is investing in.

Capital Retro8:23 am 07 Jul 22

Apparently man-made climate change doesn’t happen in China and that’s why the unelected UN give them exemptions on emissions.

I’ve never seen anyone demanding “action on climate change” outside the Chinese Embassy either.

@Capital Retro

Sorry, CR, I do need to digress … just exactly what do you mean by “unelected UN”?

I’ve seen this claptrap from you before and just put it down to the typical nonsensical ravings we have come to expect from you – but you now are using the term frequently.

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization – you know like the Commonwealth of Nations, OECD, G20, WTO and a myriad of other commercial and strategic alliances of which Australia is a member?

So perhaps you can explain to us, exactly why the UN (and indeed any of the other organizations I’ve mentioned) needs to be “elected”?

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