THE government’s decision to ban greyhound racing is beginning to sink in for locals, as the man tasked with assessing how much the move will cost taxpayers in compensation visited the region’s breeders on Wednesday.
John Keniry met with local industry representatives in Tamworth, to hear what they wanted from the government’s “transition package”.
While Dr Keniry still has several regional centres to visit before submitting his report in September, he expects the package to be “significant”.
Along with offering financial assistance to the industry, the transition package is expected to offer support services such as training programs and business advice.
Dr Keniry has been instructed to be “fair and thorough” in his investigation, which will cover everyone from the small-time backyard breeders to the multi-million dollar operations.
Businesses indirectly impacted by the decision, such as food providers, are also being consulted.
Gunnedah Greyhound Racing Club president Geoff Rose said local breeds were still astonished the government made the decision without knowing how much it would cost taxpayers.
"They've well and truly put the cart before the horse," Mr Rose said.
The government will get about $30m in tax from the greyhound industry before the ban is enforced from July 1, 2017.
Mr Rose believes the government will use that money for the transition package
“That won’t even begin to scratch the surface – how can you compensation someone for taking away their entire livelihood?” he said
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson said there were a lot of questions about what the next step for the industry was.
"My job is to make sure the people who need assistance to transition to get everything they need," Mr Anderson said.
"I think I'm one of the only MPs to attend one of John Keniry’s meetings. I'm doing what I need to do to look after all those affected by the decision."
Mr Rose said the government shouldn’t make decisions based on the actions of a minority.
“There are two trainers behind bars for animal cruelty – there are nine politicians implicated in the [Independent Commission Against Corruption] investigation for taking banned political donations,” he said.
"How come politicians haven't been banned?"