Greens call for Dapto to come out of the shadow of the dogs


Illawarra, NSW: NSW Greens MPs and local Greens candidates have condemned plans by the greyhound racing industry to ‘transform’ the Dapto greyhound track in the Illawarra into an ‘international gambling hub’.

"The Illawarra deserves better than dog racing. The Greens will shut down greyhound racing and ensure the people that rely on it are supported to reskill and transition into other industries,” Greens MP and Animal Welfare spokesperson Abigail Boyd said.

"This growth is fuelled by gambling mega-profits, with the NSW greyhound racing industry profiting from the rest of the world rightly shutting dog racing down as they wake up to its cruelty.

"Make no mistake — this is an industry incapable of reform. They may have improved their marketing, but greyhound racing is still plagued by the live baiting, overbreeding and mass graves that saw it almost shut down five years ago,” Ms Boyd said.

Wollongong City Councillor, and Greens candidate for the state seat of Wollongong Cath Blakey said: “As the fastest growing area in the Illawarra, Dapto has the opportunity to establish itself as a model of liveability, and the new home of local sporting excellence. 

“However, the greyhound industry is looking to anchor Dapto in the past, with this announcement of an alleged ‘$11 million international gambling hub’. 

“We know that community greyhound rescues are struggling to keep up with the number of dogs coming out of the racing industry, as increases in online gambling is driving unsustainable breeding.

“Five years ago, this industry was facing a ban. Now it’s reaping record profits. We know that’s down to NSW Labor playing politics instead of looking at the evidence of animal cruelty and wastage. 

“Last year federal Labor was promising a $500m sporting complex for West Dapto, but it looks like NSW Labor will beat them to the punch by backing a private racing venue.

“While the Greens support export industries, animal cruelty shouldn’t be one,” Ms Blakey said.

“I will be more than happy to see the current Agricultural Grounds repurposed to a family friendly dining and entertainment precinct that helps kickstart the night economy of the area. The first thing that needs to be built in West Dapto though, is a primary school for the burgeoning population,” Jamie Dixon, Greens candidate for Shellharbour said.

“We desperately need more government services in terms of education, healthcare, and affordable housing in the area - not a showcase of this cruel and outdated dog racing industry that further fuels the gambling epidemic.

“The last thing we need is an active trigger for community cost-of-living pressure. I don’t want Dapto to go down in history as the best example of a cruel industry,” Jamie said.

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