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Greyhound racing: NSW Coalition latest bid for votes?

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IN ANOTHER POLICY backflip, the NSW Liberal-National government is tossing $500,000 of public funding towards a major greyhound racing event dubbed the ‘Million Dollar Chase’.

While political backflips by the NSW government have become commonplace in the run up to the March 2019 state election, this latest announcement is surely among the strangest.

The message from ministers was that greyhound racing has a future. Yet just two years ago, the government, under Mike Baird, tried to ban the entire industry on welfare grounds, a move that is credited with ending Troy Grant’s leadership of the Nationals and tipping him out of the deputy premier’s role. [Welfare issues have again been raised in NSW in the past month].

Could the funding announcement be an effort to neutralise the political potency of the Fishers, Shooters and Farmers Party, which has been credited with posing a serious threat to sitting National MPs?

In Monaro, the man who stepped into Troy Grant’s leadership role, local MP John Barilaro, has also been attempting to secure support from the greyhound racing fraternity with the promise of a racing track and training facilities for Queanbeyan.

As of July, it’s unclear what, if any progress Deputy Premier Barilaro has made on this front with no development application yet before Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council.

Interestingly, Queanbeyan is not on the list of cities and towns that will host a Million Dollar Chase race.

But the Million Dollar Chase is not the only cash splash the government has made for greyhound racing in NSW in the past month. Other announcements include:

  • $480,000 upgrade for Gunnedah greyhound track
  • $762,000 upgrade for Gosford greyhound track

Looks like NSW politics really is going to the dogs.

PHOTO: Evgeny Lazarenkov, Dreamstime

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