The Melbourne Cup-winning horse owner said the proposal to ban all commercial horseracing is “ridiculous”.
Australia.- One of the most important horse racing personalities in Australia has severely criticised the Australian Greens party’s proposal to close all horseracing venues. Nick William told 3AW Radio the plan is “ridiculous and based on misinformation.”
He said horseracing produces billions of dollars for the Australian national economy and employs hundreds of thousands of people.
He said: “They’re talking about funding it with a 1 per cent increase on gambling taxes. This is a federal policy and of course, gambling is state legislated.”
When proposing the ban, Australian Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi said the sport was “inhumane, deadly and incompatible with animal welfare”. The party said venues should be closed through a two-step transition plan. The first step would involve the creation of a horse betting levy to fund the discontinuation of commercial horseracing. The second would involve the creation of a Horse Racing Transition Taskforce.
The Horse Racing Transition Taskforce would help those working in the industry find new employment and it would be in charge of turning horse racing venues into green spaces. It would also rehabilitate horses.
Williams said Faruqi had been given invitations from the industry to see what happens from the inside. He said she “has chosen not to take up those invitations, which is disappointing.”
According to Gambling Research Australia, the number of Australians who gambled on horse races declined to 16.8 per cent last year, down from 22.4 per cent ten years earlier.