Baird backflip a winner for Bundy racing, says Bland
GREYHOUNDS: Stephen Bland has welcomed New South Wales Premier Mike Baird's extraordinary backflip on a greyhound racing ban, saying the move will reignite the greyhound industry in Bundaberg.
"It will make greyhound racing in Bundaberg stronger," Bland said.
The Bundaberg Greyhound Racing Club president is also confident that Bundaberg will become a TAB standard track in the next 12 months, which will be a great boost for the region.
"We would immediately get more races and Bundaberg would get worldwide coverage," Bland said.
Yesterday, Baird backed down on his greyhound racing ban saying he and his government "got it wrong".
"I got it wrong. Cabinet got it wrong. The government got it wrong," Baird told reporters in Sydney.
Baird said the reversal in policy came after feedback from the industry and community who were strong in advocating for a second chance for the greyhound industry.
Yesterday, Bland told the NewsMail the backflip was a commonsense decision.
"It's great for the industry down there," he said
"I don't think he realised the amount of people it would affect and the pressure it would bring to bear on the government."
In July, when Baird made the bold move to ban the sport, Bland labelled the premier a fool and said he was "committing political suicide".
"It was a knee-jerk reaction," Bland said.
"What we have been saying all along is that this wasn't as widespread as people have made out.
"They were taking submissions from the Greens and the activists and nothing from the industry."
Bland said he agreed with the New South Wales proposal to cap breeding and create whole-of-life dog cycle management.
"We have that in Queensland and it is highly regulated," he said.
But Bland disagreed with any moves to reduce the number of tracks in New South Wales.
"Cutting the number of tracks could be a problem because the regional tracks are the bread-and-butter people," he said
"They are the battlers at non-TAB tracks like Bundaberg who do it for a hobby."
Bland said New South Wales could look at Queensland as an example of how to work with the greyhound industry.