871. Hon ALISON XAMON to the minister representing the Minister for Racing and Gaming:
I refer to the answer to my question on notice 2886 on the distribution of TAB funds for animal welfare, and specifically greyhound welfare, and to the response that this will be handled through the minister’s approval of Racing and Wagering Western Australia’s strategic development plan. Can the minister please advise the criteria that will be used to approve or recommend changes to the strategic plan?
Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:
I thank the member for the question. I note that this answer was provided on 8 September 2020, so it was current as of that date. The following information was provided on that date by the Minister for Racing and Gaming.
As the member is aware, given the uncertainty surrounding the impacts of COVID-19, all parties have agreed to re-engage in the TAB sale process at a later date, when the focus of government and the industry is not so heavily weighted towards the COVID-19 response. Therefore, RWWA is unable to incorporate any allocation of the sale funds in its upcoming strategic development plan. Furthermore, the allocation of funding for the industry is the responsibility of Racing and Wagering Western Australia and the board, as an independent statutory authority with the responsibility to foster the development of all three codes of racing.
The McGowan government has given higher priority to animal welfare across all codes of racing than any government in the state’s history. Furthermore, RWWA, with the McGowan government’s support, recently pursued several welfare initiatives across the three codes, including the greyhound welfare working group, the “Western Australian Racehorse Welfare Plan” and a further investment in the Greyhounds as Pets program. I expect that RWWA and the WA racing industry will continue to invest in and support these and other welfare initiatives in the future, as welfare is an important priority for the longevity of the industry and the wellbeing of animals participating in it.