MEMBER for Bathurst Paul Toole has refused to be drawn on concerns from Lifeline about the mental health consequences of the NSW Government’s greyhound racing ban.
On Friday, Lifeline Central West’s Alex Ferguson said he feared lives could be lost if the ban on greyhound racing was legislated.
“I expect people to commit suicide from this, you’ve wrecked whole families,” he said.
Mr Ferguson said the government had no idea of the consequences unleashed by the controversial ban.
Families’ emotions would suffer along with their finances, he said.
Asked directly about those statements, Mr Toole would not be drawn on the mental health concerns for those in the industry, but said he was keen to ensure the Bathurst greyhound industry’s financial concerns were heard.
He said the Greyhounds Transition Taskforce, led by Dr John Keniry, would speak directly to those affected by the proposed ban.
“I’ve already contacted Dr John Keniry personally and passed on some details of people in the industry for him to talk to,” he said.
“I’ll be ensuring that he [Dr Keniry] comes to Bathurst in the coming weeks to meet those local greyhound industry and related industries.”
Greyhounds Transition Taskforce co-ordinator general Dr Keniry has reassured the industry that financial assistance will be available as part of the transition package he is developing.
“I have had many conversations with people working directly or indirectly in the greyhound industry,” he said.
“One of the many things I'm hearing is that financial assistance must form part of the transition package I am developing.”
A Department of Justice spokesperson said the government was aware of the consequences of the decision to ban greyhound racing in NSW from July 1, 2017.
“The government understands this is a difficult time for people working in the greyhound industry who face an uncertain future and their mental health is taken very seriously,” the department spokesperson said on Monday.
- Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for help in a crisis.