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Greyhound Adoption Program and Brightside

Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Tags: Greyhound Adoption Program

Ms O'CONNOR (Clark - Leader of the Greens) - Mr Speaker, I will make a very brief contribution. Serendipitously, before the Minister for Racing came to the lectern I was near the adviser's box looking at the GAP dogs and looking at these beautiful greyhounds that have been set aside for adoption. Then Ms Ogilvie gets up and starts talking about Indie. Indie was born in 2017 and she has raced in 62 races. She was one of the dogs that is owned by the notorious greyhound trainer, Anthony Bullock, who was the subject of the investigation undertaken by the Office of Racing Integrity relating to the death of greyhound, Tah Bernard, last year.

I was a bit worried when I was looking at all the dogs that are currently in GAP that GAP may potentially be reaching its capacity. If there is anything we can do to encourage more people to adopt greyhounds that would be excellent. I also think that, not necessarily everyone who is in this parliament now, but everyone who was in the parliament prior to 2018 was part of changes that from the Greens' point of view did not go far enough, but they did go some way to saving lots of dog's lives.

We would not be looking at the GAP greyhounds and so many beautiful living dogs if the parliament had not done the work on the inquiry which was initiated by the Greens. If the then minister for racing, Mr Rockliff had not committed to making sure that the industry cleaned up its act.

I also want to give a shout out to Brightside and the wonderful work of Emma Haswell. We have GAP but we also have Brightside and greyhounds are not the only beautiful creature that ends up at Brightside because you will meet rabbits and pigs and all manner of creatures great and small. The work that is done by Emma Haswell is also outstanding and she has a lot of trust amongst trainers and greyhound owners who know that when they take their dog there that they will have the best of care.

I would simply say to Ms Ogilvie two things: keep working to improve the welfare of this industry. Obviously, the Greens want to see it banned because we do not regard it as a sport but why cannot we have straight tracks for greyhound races, for example? As someone who has known quite a few greyhounds in her time, Ms Ogilvie, I think your Scottie dog would love to have a greyhound friend.

Ms Ogilvie - She is quite serious and very stubborn.

Ms O'CONNOR - Yes, but I will just say, we are devolving now -

Ms Ogilvie - I am being a bit rude about her. She would not like me saying this so we can keep it between ourselves.

Ms O'CONNOR - I have a Dogs Home dog called Rocky on his three-and-a-half legs and I did not think Rocky would want to have another dog, that he would always want to be top dog. Then we got another dog who made Rocky happy but one of Rocky's best friends is Izzy the greyhound who was a Brightside adoptee and is now the very much-loved companion of Alice Giblin. I will simply say, Ms Ogilvie, put aside some of those concerns because greyhounds are just such beautiful, loving animals and they do call them the 100 kilometre an hour couch potatoes so I am sure your little dog would be very happy to have a friend.

Ms Ogilvie - I agree. They are beautiful.