Write to your South Australian State MP to Support Jumps Racing

Below is a sample letter that South Australian jumps racing enthusiasts and professionals can use as a template for writing to your State MP, Premier Weatherill and Racing Minister Leon Bignell.

Please feel free to copy or adapt the letter as you see fit—the important thing is to ensure that legislators in South Australia know the level of support for jumps racing in our state, and what will be the consequences of its demise.

I am writing to urge you to reject the bill that is being brought before the Parliament to outlaw the sport of jumps racing in South Australia.

The Labor government’s policy, as frequently expressed in public in a variety of fora, has hitherto been that the future of jumps racing in South Australia is a matter for the governing body, Thoroughbred Racing SA. I would respectfully urge you and your government to maintain this position and not renege on promises made before the last state election.

Jumps racing has a long and glorious tradition in our state, exemplified by the institution that is the Oakbank Racing Carnival and more recent highlights on the SA racing calendar, such as Irish Race Day at Morphettville.

The sport’s demise would leave a significant hole in the winter racing program, where attendances and turnover are in decline, and would further disincentive owners, trainers and jockeys from establishing a base in South Australia.  In addition, a ban while the sport is still active may well open the State to compensation claims from owners, trainers, jockeys, strappers and others whose livelihoods in some way depend on the sport.

Concerns about the safety of the sport have been addressed by the industry and claims that jumps racing is cruel and dangerous are not borne out by the statistics, which demonstrate an extremely positive safety record since a similar Bill was brought to parliament in 2011. In addition, jumps racing has accounted for only 0.67% of racing fatalities in South Australia in the last decade

I would therefore call upon you to maintain the government’s oft-repeated position regarding legislation around jumps racing, and the firm commitment that was made in this regard to the South Australian public before last year’s state election.

I urge you in the strongest possible terms not to support the Bill being introduced by Tammy Franks MLC and to let jumps racing remain solely within the purview of TRSA.

You can find a list of the contact details of State MPs here: https://www.parliament.sa.gov.au/Members/HouseofAssembly/Pages/ContactDetails.aspx

Premier Weatherill’s email is cheltenham@parliament.sa.gov.ua
Leon Bignell’s email is mawson@parliament.sa.gov.au

One comment

  1. Email to Ministers today:
    Dear Minister,
    I oppose Tammy Franks, MP, proposal to ban jumps racing.
    I am appalled by Minister Leon Bignall’s personal agenda against jumps racing. He simply cannot continue to be the Minister for Racing in South Australia. His recent stance against jumps racing as detailed in the media, such as AdelaideNow, demonstrates he has been in personal discussions with members of the South Australian Jockey Club to try and abolish jumps racing in South Australia, and it appears he has invited Greens member Tammy Franks to assist.
    In 2011, Ms Franks and the Greens, associated themselves with the lobbyists “Ban Jumps Racing” and the RSPCA in a failed to abolish jumps racing. In 2011, the RSPCA and Ms Franks failed in their argument that banning jumps racing translated to welfare of animals. Their argument that risk of injury was the main theme of their argument was illogical.
    In 2015, that argument is still invalid; legitimate statistics show that jumps racing accounts for 0.67% of fatalities in racing in this State in the last decade. In an ideal world there would be no incidents, but it would be unrealistic and irrational to expect that. There is always a degree of risk in equestrian sports, whether horses are racing, show-jumping or simply in the paddock.
    To claim it is a “thing of bygone era” is ignorant. Statistic show that more people attend jumps race days than any other race day during the winter racing season. Jumps racing generates income.
    To claim it is cruelty to horses is ignorant. Jumps racing horses are loved, educated and extremely well cared for. On average it costs approximately $30,000.00 per annum to keep one horse in training. They are boxed, paddocked, rugged, watered, fed, vetted, shod, brushed and maintained 365 days of the year. The vast majority retire to the paddock or an alternative after racing career such as pony clubbing or three-day eventing.
    Ms Franks, the SAJC and Mr Bignell have failed to make reference to any legitimate research or factual evidence to backup their claims.
    The Minister for Racing’s duty is to represent the racing industry as a whole, not to promote or bend to pressure from minority groups or individuals to pursue a particular agenda, namely the abolition of jumps racing in South Australia.
    It is inappropriate for the Minister for Racing to entertain and promote his personal views and the subjective views of a minority interest of people dictating how the whole racing industry should be run. Jumps racing is highly regulated, legitimate and legal. It is a significant fraternity within the racing industry; one of Australia’s largest employers.
    Jumps racing is one of the highest regulated industries within the racing industry itself. Steeplechasing and hurdle-racing are promoted and celebrated within the racing industry as a whole, with the exception of a couple of individuals within the South Australian Jockey Club who appear to have a personal agenda that includes abolishing the jumps racing industry.
    People are entitled to have an opinion on any sport, but it is not appropriate that individuals, particular the Minister holding the portfolio for racing as a whole, purport to speak on behalf of the racing industry as a whole. Minister Bignell, Tammy Franks and individuals within the SAJC do not speak for me and they do not speak for the industry as a whole.
    Irrespective of an individual’s views on particular issues within the racing industry, it is my view that the racing industry must not be used or be seen to be a vehicle for promoting the views of individuals, who, in my view, are simply not applying proper and objective reasoning to issues that affect the legal rights of individuals.
    The South Australian Government must clarify what portfolio Minister Bignell is holding and what his agenda is; namely, is he Minister for Racing in South Australia or Minister and mouthpiece for the South Australian Jockey Club? If he is not prepared or capable of promoting and acting as Racing Minister for the whole of the racing industry in South Australia, including Jumps Racing, then he must resign the Racing portfolio.
    Thank you for your time.

    Liked by 1 person

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