Max Fleet

Baird resolute on greyhound ban

PREMIER Mike Baird is unwavering in his decision to ban greyhound racing across New South Wales, accusing Opposition Leader Luke Foley of hypocrisy in his support for the industry's continuation.

Division within the Coalition over the proposed ban has done little, at least on the surface, to affect Mr Baird's resolve to shut down the sport.

He mentioned Arizona, which in May became the 40th state in the United States to prohibit greyhound racing - doing so with support from all sides of the political fray.

"All sides of politics (were) prepared to do what was right, to put principles first, not politics," he said.

The premier quoted Labor MP Jo Haylen, who spoke out against her party's pro-racing position because of widespread animal cruelty in the industry.

"I thank the member for Summer Hill for having some principles," Mr Baird said.

"She's standing up for what she believes in."

He was less bombastic when Labor MP Michael Daley asked him to quote Upper House member Peter Phelps's comments.

The self-professed libertarian Liberal MP, who resigned as government whip so he could vote against his party's stance on biofuels, recently told ABC he worried the government was applying "selective morality" to the issue.

The Premier repeated his latest catchphrase, labelling the Opposition Leader a Mop - a "man of principle", whose principles disappear when he can smell a political opportunity.

"He's like the Wizard of Oz - when you pull back the curtains, there's a little man with political levers and nothing else," Mr Baird said.

"We have responded, not on the basis the Opposition might like - let's turn it into class warfare - that's what he decided today.

"This is not class warfare, this is pure and simple a response on animal welfare."

Mr Foley had a dig of his own at Mr Baird for making a captain's call to ban the industry without properly consulting his party.

"Here's a principle: you don't destroy thousands of livelihoods with a Facebook post," he said.

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MP Robert Borsak took to Facebook to give his support to the $335 million industry.

"I'm no shrinking violet when it comes to letting Mike Baird and Troy Grant know that they've made a bad decision in banning greyhound racing," he posted.

"The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party will always stand up for rural communities - even against a NSW Liberal Party Premier.

"Will the NSW Nationals?"

Christian Democrats Fred Nile and Paul Green say they will also oppose the ban.

Even with their support, Labor needs five more votes short to block the legislation in the Upper House unless government MPs decide to cross the floor. -ARM NEWSDESK


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