On September 12, 2023 I made a submission to the Ipswich City Council on a proposed greyhound training and breeding facility. You can read a copy of my submission text below.
Objection re: 2129/2023/MCU - 125 dog greyhound training and breeding facility
Dear Ipswich City Council and Assessment Officer Blake O'Neill,
Thank you for this opportunity to voice my objections to the proposed greyhound training and breeding facility.
The Greyhound racing industry exploits dogs, preys on vulnerable communities and persons, and is dependent on public money which is diverted away from genuine community need. It is little wonder that greyhound racing’s social license has rapidly eroded in recent years.
The harms of problem gambling, encouraged by the racing industry, ripple through many Queenslanders lives, our families, and our communities. That the product perpetuating these harms and which is being pushed onto our communities is itself dependent on animal abuse can only contribute towards a culture of callous disregard for life. Greyhound racing dissuades compassion and responsibility, not only towards animals, but our fellow humans. It is a further shame that this industry survives only through attracting governmental sponsorship, siphoning funding from the services and infrastructure Queenslanders need to live a good and fulfilling life.
The need and opportunities for new and revitalized recreational facilities in Ipswich and surrounds are boundless. It is a terrible shame that the State Government has decided to instead spend $40 million on new Greyhound tracks at Purga. These tracks, designed in contravention of animal welfare design principles recommended in a study commissioned by NSW Greyhound Racing, will worsen the harms the greyhound racing industry causes to vulnerable animals and persons it preys upon.
The gambling and racing industries have repeatedly proven that they are incapable of having their harms regulated out. It was recently revealed that for two years Queensland Racing knew greyhound trainer Jason Haim to be keeping dogs in overcrowded kennels with excrement build up and no bedding, no food, and no clean water, before sanctioning him. Similarly, the inability and unwillingness of gambling regulators to also act are well documented.
The Purga racetracks should not be allowed to set a precedent that these industries are an acceptable vessel for investment above the myriad of projects that would better serve the needs of Queenslanders. Government’s role should be focussed on ensuring that remaining businesses comply with their animal welfare requirements, supporting alternative economic opportunities, and reducing the harms racing and gambling causes to persons and animals, not prolonging them.
This development is also proposed in extremely close proximity to core koala habitat - environments that are quickly being destroyed in the Ipswich area. Whilst this development does not propose the direct clearing of koala habitat trees, it does place a huge number of predators within extremely close proximity to koala habitat.
I also note this widespread community opposition to this project, as evidenced by the petitions, rallies, and letter drives that have happened over recent years. Given the Ipswich City Council's commitment to community engagement, this existing community opposition should be taken seriously.
I urge you to reject this proposal.
Member for South Brisbane