National: NSW Premier Mike Baird Backflips on Greyhounds Racing Ban

Five greyhounds have been killed since last week, when NSW Premier Mike Baird backtracked on his decision to ban the racing.

Baird and deputy premier Troy Grant announced that a panel will report to the state government about reforming the sport and “providing the most stringent, safest racing environment to eliminate avoidable injury”.

Baird said that he and his government were “wrong” about the decision to close down the industry after three months stating that the ban was “the right thing to do”.

“I got it wrong, we got it wrong, the cabinet got it wrong and the government got it wrong,” Baird said.

Baird said his advisor on the industry closure, Dr John Keniry had said that “there is now a deep appetite for change, for reform in the industry… [the industry is] desperate to change.”

The decision to ban greyhound racing from July 1, 2017 was a result of special inquiry headed by Michael McHugh, which found that up to 68,000 greyhounds had been euthanised in the past 12 years due to slowness and incapability to continue competing.

Brenton Scott, chief executive of the NSW Greyhound Industry Racing Alliance said cases of track euthanasia “represents an extremely small 0.13 per cent of runner. However, the industry accepts that every possible step must be taken to avoid any track euthanasia going forward.”

Fairfax’s Sean Nicholls said the reversal is likely caused by oppositional media and industry campaign, as well as predictions that the Liberal Party might lose the November 12 Orange by-election.

National: Q&A Mitch Fifield says ‘Australia shares responsibility for Nauru’

Liberal frontbencher Mitch Fifield admits that Australia has a “shared responsibility” for the asylum seekers and refugees at Nauru detention centre in ABC show Q&A, Monday, August 22.

Fifield was responding to Tracey Donehue, a former teacher at Nauru Regional Processing Centre who asked about the responsibility of the Australian Government for asylum seekers, as witness accounts – including hers – of detainees’ mistreatments continue to be ignored.

Fifield suggested that the Federal Government has a responsibility to investigate incidents of abuse and assault on Nauru. “There wouldn’t be incident reports filed if they weren’t for the purpose of being investigated,” said Fifield.

Last month, government files leak revealed a wide range of abuse allegations, including assaults, sexual abuse, child abuse and poor living condition in the detention camp.

Liberal frontbencher and Immigration minister Peter Dutton said while the case would be investigated by Nauruan authorities, “some people do have a motivation to make a false complaint”.

“I have been made aware of some incidents that have reported false allegations of sexual assault because in the end, people have paid money to people smugglers and they want to come to our country,” Dutton told 2GB Radio.

“Some people have even gone to the extent of self-harming and people have self-immolated in an effort to get to Australia. Certainly, some have made false allegations.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the government will assess the information, while former immigration minister and current treasurer Scott Morrison claim the files should not be taken as fact. “It’s important to stress that incident reports of themselves aren’t a reporting of fact, they are reporting that an allegation has been made of a particular action,” Morrison said.