Save or sack – Premier Mike Baird’s controversial bid to shut down the NSW greyhound racing industry will be high on the agenda as MPs return to Macquarie Street this week.
The premier and his deputy, Nationals leader Troy Grant, spent much of Monday afternoon trying to ease tensions within their parties over the issue as they prepare to introduce legislation outlawing the sport in coming days.
Several Nationals MPs have been furious with the pair over the lack of consultation over the issue.
At least two have also threatened to cross the floor over the July 2017 ban, which they argue will have a detrimental effect in their regional electorates.
Every member would have the opportunity to “act as they should or want” after Monday’s meeting,
Mr Baird said, adding that he was confident in his position.
‘Having said that, the way the industry is transitioned to the package we are putting in, in terms of support, there’s a lot of opportunity to make sure we get that right,’ he said.
Greyhound racing supporters will meanwhile make their 11th-hour bid to fight the ban on Tuesday as they rally and march to parliament house.
Opposition Leader Luke Foley, who opposes the industry’s closure and has released an alternative plan to reform the industry, is set to show his support.
The Labor Party will hold a caucus meeting on Tuesday morning, which is set to be similarly tense given not all in the party support their leader’s opposition.
Some support will come the Baird government’s way, however, as animal welfare and rescue groups gather at parliament to thank those MPs who will be voting in favour of the legislation.
The industry was brought to a standstill following a Special Commission of Inquiry report which found animal cruelty was endemic in the greyhound industry, with up to 68,000 “uncompetitive” dogs slaughtered for the sport over the past 12 years.