Tuesday, 12 May 2015
Mr GOLDSWORTHY (Kavel) (11:28): I am pleased to speak to the amendment moved by the member for Chaffey in relation to deleting the words 'whether it should be banned' because I think that is somewhat prejudicial in objectively considering this matter. The Oakbank race meeting is held in the electorate of Kavel which I am the member for in this place. It is a very important event, not only in my electorate but for South Australia—and, really, all of Australia—because, as we know, it is the world's largest picnic race meeting.
As the member for Chaffey pointed out, it has 70,000-plus visitors over the two-day event and it is a very important race meeting. It is also a very important tourist event in South Australia. I want to declare my interest, being a member of the Oakbank Racing Club, and I know the chairman, Mr John Glatz, quite well. As the local member, I have had a number of discussions with him over the years in relation to jumps racing and the Oakbank race meeting.
The member for Chaffey is quite correct in pointing out that the state government does not provide one cent of support to the Oakbank Racing Club to hold the Easter race meetings, so I think the motion, as it stands, is rather prejudicial. I am certainly supporting the amendment, but where does something like this end, in terms of calling for the banning of jumps racing?
The member for Morphett is a qualified professional in relation to animal husbandry. He is a veterinary surgeon. He is more qualified than anybody in this place, I think, to give an opinion in relation to how a horse, as an animal, relates to this activity. As a young child we used to have horse events in our local district. There used to be a hunt in the Adelaide Hills, but this was a different form of hunt. There were no foxes and hounds and so on. This was a hunt on the farming property directly across the road, directly adjacent to our home property at Highercombe, Houghton. Old Mr Chapman had a hunt every year, and it was a big event.
What we are talking about is horses. They have the natural ability to jump. They are an animal that jumps. We have seen a myriad of activities where horses jump, and jumps racing is one of those activities, but where does this end? We have to look at this objectively, and unfortunately some people in this argument have become quite subjective. There is a group of people in the community that wants to ban rodeos, and the member for Morphett spoke about that. They might even want to eventually ban showjumping or the three-day event, because accidents do take place.
At one of these hunts that was held at our next-door neighbour's farm, I remember that a horse was injured and had to be put down. I remember that as a child. That is quite an unfortunate outcome, but accidents do happen. I am not going to spend a lot of time on this. I have been talking to other people who have had direct involvement in the horse racing industry. The horses that are selected and trained for jumps racing are not necessarily suited for flat track racing. It is obviously a different sport, closely associated with flat track racing, but some of these horses are not suited to it. If there were no jumps racing events for these horses to participate in, their future would be pretty bleak. I do not want to be too emotive about this, but there is a facility at Peterborough that deals with horses that are no longer required for whatever purpose.
In support of what my other colleagues have said in relation to this matter, I want to point out that we need to be really critically objective about what is being achieved in relation to this select committee and we need to be very well aware of the outcome of any future decision in relation to the future of the Oakbank race meeting.