Jumps Racing

Mr PEDERICK ( Hammond ) ( 11:34 ): I rise to speak to the motion that the Minister for Racing has moved:

  1. That in the opinion of this house, a joint committee be appointed to inquire into and report on jumps racing in South Australia and whether it should be banned.
  2. In the event of a joint committee being appointed, the House of Assembly should be represented by three members of the House of Assembly, of whom two shall form a quorum of the House of Assembly members necessary to be present at all sittings of the committee .
  3. That a message be sent to the Legislative Council transmitting the foregoing resolution and requesting its concurrence thereto.

What has been moved by the member for Chaffey and agreed to by all members on this side is that the words 'and whether it should be banned' should be deleted. That is quite prejudicial in my mind, adding those words into an inquiry. It goes to show, as we have heard in media reports over time, the Minister for Racing's views in relation to jumps racing. Everyone is entitled to their point of view, but it certainly comes up with quite a prejudicial outlook and certainly looks to me like it is heading towards a prejudicial outcome with regard to where the committee heads.

The member for Chaffey outlined the losses of jumps horses compared with flat track horses and the fact that there is a very small increase in the percentage of horses that have to be put down in regard to jumps racing. I acknowledge where jumps races are held across the state: obviously Oakbank, in the member for Kavel's electorate; Morphettville; Mount Gambier; Gawler; and, Murray Bridge, in my electorate. Jumps racing brings many hundreds of thousands of dollars into the state. When you look at the Oakbank event, close to 5 per cent of the whole state attend that event. Will the government say that 70,000 punters are wrong, which seems to be the message?

With regard to what other members have said, where are we heading with this? Next will the target be hunt clubs? My youngest sister was a member of the Murray Bridge Hunt Club and they had hunting courses around the Fleurieu at Tolderol, Murray Bridge and at Coomandook on a neighbour's property at Ballards, where she rode quite a lot. When she was based in Traralgon she joined the Melbourne Hunt Club for a while and did some hunting in Victoria. What do you think goes on in a hunt? Of course they jump! That is what it is based on. Horses that were in hunts hundreds of years ago were jumping fences.

I have perused the hunting course at Coomandook, where there are raised logs between trees or other jumps as set up for the horses to jump over. That will be the next target, because some people in this world do not want us to handle any animals—and I say that as a bloke who has come off the land—and they do not want us to eat any animals. We have to be very careful where we are going with any of this: it is a long slippery slope. Some people want us to slide down that slope as if it is a slippery dip. Some of them want us all to eat lentils and mung beans, and none of us will be able to enjoy animal products again, and I find that abhorrent. I find that really abhorrent.

The Hon. L.W.K. Bignell: Throw on a steak!

Mr PEDERICK: Absolutely, 'Throw on a steak,' the minister says. I am right with him there. Anyone involved in any industry to do with animals, whether farming or horse racing, the animals' interests are first—that is the thing. You would not be managing these animals if you did not want to care for them so that they look after you as well. In the case of primary production you want those animals to produce a profit. With regard to jumps racing, you want horses that are fit and looked after so that they can be winners, so it has a similar outcome in the end with regard to income.

I want to go on a bit more about animal welfare activists, and some of the things they get up to, and the illegal activities they undertake. They think they are doing this great thing for the world, when they enter intensive animal sheds, pig sheds or chicken sheds. As we have seen in the media, at Big River Pork's facility at Murray Bridge they entered illegally to take their footage, but not to release that footage straightaway to show what they were saying were outrageous practices and this kind of thing. No, they will sit on it for months and release it at the time they want to release it for their so-called big media impact.

We have seen these tactics reflected right across the live animal trade. We have seen it with live cattle exports to Indonesia and live sheep exports. These animal activists store this footage and they are quite happy to present it when it suits them. If they were really concerned about animal welfare, they would put up this footage the same day or the day after they filmed but, no, they sit on it until it suits their left-wing agenda.

I applaud the work of Senator Chris Back, in his legislation where people are required to provide the footage of any alleged animal cruelty within a very short period of time so that it can be acted on appropriately. Quite frankly, I am more than disgusted that these clowns think they can break into premises, do what they like and think they can get away with it. It is wrong and it is illegal. If they think they are standing up for animal rights, well, they are a joke.

In regard to this motion on jumps racing, yes, let's have a look at it, but let's not have a look at it with a preconceived outcome, which the original motion states, on whether or not it should be banned. Let the industry have a look at it. Let any individual bring in submissions, as happens with select committees. I have been on a few select committees now and anyone with any interest at all can come and put their case, but let's not have some preconceived idea on where this is heading because I firmly believe that this is part of a long, slippery slope, and I certainly will not become a lentil-eating, mung bean head any time soon.