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Byron Shire
February 26, 2021

Lismore Council backs down on Cup decision despite cruelty concerns

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What’s more important: trying to protect horses from the risk of cruel treatment, or a half-day holiday for local punters?

Lismore Council voted in favour of the latter last night, electing to support a half-day holiday for the Lismore Cup despite concerns about the treatment of the animals involved and recent revelations about the cruel realities of the horse racing industry.

The council had previously voted to scrap the half-day holiday, rejecting an application by the Lismore Turf Club for the 2020 and 2021 events.

But following lobbying from the Turf Club, the local chamber of commerce and industry and the Public Service Association, a majority of councillors voted to rescind that decision.

The half-day holiday will now go ahead.

Among those who lobbied the council to bring back the half-day holiday was Asren Pugh, the previous Labor candidate for the state seat of Ballina.

In a press release on behalf of the Public Service Association representative, Mr Pugh congratulated the council for ‘protecting worker’s rights’.

Former Country Labor candidate for Ballina, Asren Pugh with shadow minister for planning Tania Mihailuk in Suffolk Park last week.

‘Members told us that they value the holiday as a time to spend with their family, catching up with friends, volunteering or just having some much-needed time out,’ said Mr Pugh.

‘For those that do have to work, they get paid penalty rates, which means more money for them to spend at local businesses and makes it a little easier to make ends meet.’

‘Public sector workers have been through a very difficult few months, firstly responding to the impacts of drought and fire, and now dealing with storms and flooding.

‘These workers deserve a break.’

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  1. What a bloody disgrace!

    With Council toadying to vested interests what hope is there for local government. Lismore Council’s reputation as a progressive local authority has just been blown out of the water.

    Shame on you Asren Pugh – the workers may well deserve a break but voiceless animals deserve protection and safety. The can be other opportunities for workers to have a break so don’t run that old argument.

    2020 civilisation still has a long way to go. . .

  2. Not often that I agree with Lavender , but as a member of the ALP it pains me to see Asren give tacit support to the gambling and racing industry.

  3. Really! Banning the races on the grounds of cruelty is a joke. The cancellation of the holiday should never have occurred in the first place. Just a minority group trying to make a name for themselves. Typical of the Northern Rivers area to try and make a statement over nothing.

  4. Well done Lismore City Council common sense has prevailed. Even without the public holiday the cup meeting would go ahead. Lismore businesses are struggling and this event brings thousands of dollars to the city. As far as cruelty to animals the racing stewards and veterinarians abide by stricked regulations to ensure the Jockeys and Trainers comply. I love animals too

  5. This is a step backward, when are the animals going to be acknowledged, l like my downtime as well only l choose cruelty free activities and don’t support gambling, and besides there are many activities you can do with your family that doesn’t involve cruelty, it’s time to shut the industry down.

  6. Horse racing: The sport of kings paid for by the peasants.
    The peasants apparently want a holiday for half a day BUT not necessarily to watch the inbred h horses being flogged.

  7. I love horses, I think it IS the Sport of Kings, and the Kings are the Horses.
    My suggestion is we stop the use of anything more than hands, heels and hearts to win races.
    Beating of any animal, human or otherwise is a throw back and needs to stop.

    Being strapped at school by my best teacher opened me up to sex and physical abuse in later life. Stupid me but childhood conditioning is so potent.
    Let’s use carrots not sticks! Horses thrive on carrots and an old pony I know will break into a happy trot when carrots are on the menu.
    Wouldn’t take much to teach our thoroughbreds, who give us so much fun, that carrots are waiting just past the Winning Post!

  8. We have a problem in our education yet we will shut down local schools for the half day holiday for an event they can’t go to. Why not have a whole day off for Lismore show, beef week and other local events that everyone can go to.


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