Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN ( Stuart ) ( 15:29 ):
I take this opportunity to say a few words about the Port Augusta Greyhound Club. There would not be a member among us who was not shocked and deeply concerned by the revelations of live baiting going on in the greyhound industry in other states, and I know that every single one of us here would want to work very hard to make sure that that does not happen here in South Australia.
I think that Greyhound Racing SA’s reaction to those revelations was quite important. To paraphrase, essentially what they said was: ‘It was found to have been going on in other states and we are glad it wasn’t found to be going on in South Australia, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t need to be ever vigilant to make sure that it doesn’t.’ I think that is a very responsible approach to this issue.
I am the very proud patron and member of the Port Augusta Greyhound Club. My purpose in speaking today is really to put on record a very strong view I have that, while this industry is battling across Australia at the moment with some very difficult issues, the sport of greyhound racing should not be dismissed out of hand because of those issues. Of course, my particular interest, the Port Augusta Greyhound Club, is a very fine establishment. They work exceptionally well and exceptionally hard. They are a volunteer organisation. I know that they will do everything they possibly can to ensure that their club continues to uphold the highest standards in every way possible.
This is a volunteer club, as I mentioned. It is actually free; anybody who wants to can walk in off the street to come and look at races, enjoy the races, have a beer, not have a beer, just chat with their mates—whatever they would like to do. I am surprised that more people from Port Augusta do not come to enjoy, in winter, a really relaxing and enjoyable afternoon or, in summer, a really relaxing and enjoyable evening of greyhound racing.
I am concerned that sections of the population would be keen to take the opportunity, as they see it, to grasp the revelations of what has been going on in other states to try to run the whole industry down. I am sure that every single one of us has at different times come across revelations of disgraceful conduct in the plumbing industry, the legal fraternity, the car sales industry, mechanical workshops, union officials, politicians, doctors, etc. The list would be endless, but it does not mean at all that every single person or every single organisation operating in those industries or areas of endeavour is bad.
I urge this house to support greyhound racing across the state. I urge this house to support GRSA in their efforts to ensure that racing in South Australia is absolutely 100 per cent as squeaky clean as it can possibly be. I invite any member of this house, or staff member who would like to, to come to the Port Augusta greyhound racing club and see an absolutely wonderful example of a local community group, volunteer run, at Chinnery oval. It is a picturesque little oval where, from the main viewing area, you can literally walk right up to a three or four-foot-high chain link fence. It is lower than my waist. The racing happens right there on a grass track. Beyond that is a beautiful oval, beyond that is the beautiful Upper Spencer Gulf and beyond that is the beautiful Flinders Ranges. It is a very hands-on opportunity to come, relax, look and enjoy.
Port Augusta Greyhound Club would welcome anybody who wants to come and have a look through their facility. They have absolutely nothing to hide, whether it be a GRSA inspector, a vet, me as the patron wanting to be absolutely sure that I am involved with a top-notch organisation or any member of the public who wants to come and enjoy themselves and find out how wonderful greyhound racing can be. They would all be welcome.