DOCTOR John Keniry has one of the more difficult jobs in the state at the moment.
Th co-ordinator of the Greyhounds Transition Taskforce is currently completing a tour of NSW’s major greyhound regions to meet breeders and trainers affected by the state government’s ban on racing from July 1 next year.
He was in Bathurst on Wednesday to first meet representatives from the local industry and then members of the local media – and it was a bit of a grilling both times.
It has been the same story for Dr Keniry over the past month as he has taken the chance to tell the greyhound industry about the government support available to them to help in the industry transition.
In other circumstances that might be good news for an industry facing extinction but not when it’s an industry that has been shut down – effectively – on the wished of a single politician.
The greyhound industry is seething with anger over its treatment by Premier Mike Baird and is crying out for someone, anyone, to hear their grievances.
They feel betrayed by those elected to lead them and ignored by those charged with the responsibility of working with them.
In the absence of a meeting with the premier or local member, a meeting with Dr Keniry is the next best option for greyhound breeders and trainers and it cannot have been easy for either party.
But this is a crucial part of the process.
The state government shows no sign of backing down over its tough stance on greyhound racing and it’s clear they have also caught the attention of the horse racing industry in the state.
A $2 million program to rehome every retired thoroughbred was announced on Tuesday in what was clearly a pre-emptive strike against a ban on horse racing, too.
But it’s too late for greyhounds and now it’s in everyone’s interests for the transition period to be properly organised and properly funded.
Mr Baird might have acted with the best interests of greyhounds in mind but it’s the best interests of the humans involved in the industry that must now take priority.
As he travels the state it’s inevitable that Dr Keniry bears the brunt of the anger over this decision but local breeders and trainers must also realise he is there to help.
Right or wrong, the decision on greyhound racing has been made. Now it’s a case of making the most of a bad situation.