30th May 2014
Animal Liberation Qld welcomes Attorney General, Jarrod Bleijie’s comments this week: “gambling can cause irreparable damage to families and individuals, so it’s vital we provide as much support as possible....”
However his comments at the launch of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week from 26 May to 1 June ironically coincide with the first signs this week of the imminent construction of the taxpayer funded Cronulla Park Greyhound Racing Track at Slacks Creek. This track is in the heart of the Logan community, already grappling with major problem gambling addiction, and is being funded to the tune of over $12 million plus over $1 million each year, all to subsidise a declining greyhound racing industry fuelled by gambling.
Animal Liberation Qld spokesperson Hayley Cotton said “This hypocritical government is having an each way bet. On the one hand it claims to be concerned about problem gambling and its devastating effects on families and individuals, whilst on the other hand, appears to have no qualms about placing a new greyhound racing track in the middle of Logan, already a known problem gambling area. Where are the scruples of this cynical government?”
“Contrary to claims that the new facility will increase productivity in the Logan community, research shows that the social costs of gambling far outweigh any economic benefits and that the effects of gambling are usually worse in disadvantaged areas. Logan is in the top 10 disadvantaged areas Australia wide. “The Strong Choices campaign pretends Queenslanders have a say in deciding how to reduce the state’s enormous $80 billion debt. But one item that the state government apparently isn’t prepared to cut funding towards is the new greyhound racing track at Cronulla Park, Logan.
“Despite strong community and Logan City Council opposition to the Cronulla Park Greyhound Track, including Mayor Pam Parker and a majority of councillors, the State Government appears hell-bent on proceeding in funding this declining and taxpayer subsidised industry.
Animal Liberation Qld will present further petition signatures to a Logan City Council meeting and State Government on 3 June, bringing the total to date of approximately 7000 signatures for both the Council and State petitions.
“The new track at Cronulla Park will promote the additional deaths of countless more greyhounds as well as increase the social and economic problems associated with gambling addiction in an already at-risk region. Already, the greyhound racing industry is responsible for the deaths of 17,000 dogs annually.” said Ms Cotton.
Animal Liberation Qld is calling for residents to contact their state MP and sign an e-petition before the closing date of 2 June, 2014. The petition calls for the greyhound racing facility to be cancelled in favour of a more community friendly and culturally inclusive centre that will support healthy lifestyles.