Luke Foley renews pledge to overturn greyhound ban

NSW opposition leader Luke Foley met with Central West greyhound owners and trainers on Monday and assured them he would overturn the ban on their industry if elected premier in 2019. 

UNDERDOG: Opposition leader Luke Foley and Labor candidate for Orange Bernard Fitzsimon addressing greyhound supporters in Bathurst. Photo: BRADLEY JURD

UNDERDOG: Opposition leader Luke Foley and Labor candidate for Orange Bernard Fitzsimon addressing greyhound supporters in Bathurst. Photo: BRADLEY JURD

Mr Foley spoke to trainers and owners at Bathurst Greyhound Racing Club and was welcomed with open arms on the back of his party’s view to fight the Baird Government’s controversial ban.

Mr Foley said he will work at length to make sure greyhound racing is regulated rather than criminalised. 

“Our commitment is to operate the sport of greyhound racing to very high standards of animal welfare,” Mr Foley said. 

“Throw the book at those who do the wrong thing, but look after the thousands of good men and women in it.”

If Mr Foley is elected in the next state poll, the sport will have been inactive for two years, an eventuality Mr Foley is seeking to avoid.

“I’m trying to stop the ban taking effect,” Mr Foley said on Monday.

“I believe if the greyhound industry wins in the courts, the noise will be deafening.

“And beyond the court, we are trying to engage in community pressure to force a back-down from the government.”

Mr Foley believes the approaching Orange byelection will provide voters the best chance to protest the ban. 

“This sport is an important part of the social fabric of many country towns,” Mr Foley said, noting three-quarters of the state’s greyhound tracks are in regional areas. 

“This is such a city-centric decision with many devastating consequences in the country.”

The opposition leader has spoken to members of the horse racing industry, many of whom are concerned their sport will be banned by the government next.