Australian Greens Insist on the Closure of the Country’s Commercial Horse Racing Industry

Daniel Williams

The Australian Greens Party has unveiled a transition plan aimed at the closure of commercial horse racing in the country. At the time when the announcement was made, Green Senator Mehreen Faruqi described the sport as inhumane, deadly and incompatible with animal welfare.

The transition plan that has been announced by the Greens consists of two steps. It involves the implementation of a horse betting levy aimed at funding the cessation of the commercial horse racing industry in Australia and the establishment of a Horse Racing Transition Taskforce. On its website, the party wrote that the horse racing sector in the country is beyond saving, so the only right thing the Government should do is shut it down.

The Australian Greens also explained that the increasing influence and power of the local gambling industry fueled commercial horse racing in Australia, but most people were very concerned about the welfare of all animals involved.

The political party’s proposal comes as various groups that defend animal rights took part in a protest action around the Melbourne Cup.

For years, the popular race has been targeted by advocates of animal rights who believe that horses participating in the sport are subject to cruel treatment. According to data provided by the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses, a total of 149 horses died on racetracks across the country in the 1-year period from August 1st, 2020 to July 31st, 2021. The figure equals the death of more than one horse every three days.

Australian Greens Seek to Establish Horse Racing Taskforce and 1% Horse Betting Levy

Animal rights activists and the Greens Party have put the aforementioned statistics into the spotlight and called for the horse racing industry to be officially shut down. In an op-ed article published by the Junkee, Senator Mehren Faruqi has noted that the Melbourne Cup is not the only day when horse cruelty occurs. She said it is institutional, systemic and built into the business model of the Australian horse racing industry.

“Horse racing kills. No horse is safe at the Melbourne Cup or at any other race. It’s beyond time to shut this industry down. It can and must be done.”

As mentioned above, the plan unveiled by the Greens includes the establishment of a Horse Racing Transition Taskforce – a body that would actively participate in the management and coordination of the closure of the country’s commercial horse racing industry.

This Taskforce is aimed at planning the most important aspects of the shutdown, such as a national ban on horse racing, finding new employment for the people who work in the sector, as well as turning horse racing facilities into green spaces. It would also participate in the rehoming and rehabilitation of horses.

The Transition Plan that the Australian Greens recently unveiled also involves the implementation of a special 1% horse betting levy on betting turnover generated by commercial horse racing services. The introduction of the levy, which is to be used to fund the proposed transition in the sector, would also be managed and organised by the Taskforce.

As revealed by the Australian Greens, the 1% levy is expected to generate about $494 million in revenue over the period of 2 years.

Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.

Daniel Williams
Author: Wanda Peters