Wagga Greyhound Racing Club has paid tribute to one MP who risked the health of her political career in an attempt to save the greyhound industry.
[Cootamundra MP Katrina Hodgkinson. File photo from Wagga Wagga Daily Advertiser]
Cootamundra MP Katrina Hodgkinson. File photo from Wagga Wagga Daily Advertiser
The local club named its fifth race on Friday the Thank You Katrina Hodgkinson stakes. It comes after Ms Hodgkinson crossed the floor to vote against legislation banning greyhound racing in the state, in an attempt to protect thousands of regional jobs.
The Cootamundra MP was then unceremoniously stripped of her parliamentary secretary role as a result of siding with Labor during the unsuccessful vote. Wagga Greyhound Racing Club racing manager John Patton named the race after Ms Hodgkinson on the behalf of the club’s committee.
“We did it because of the hard work Katrina and others have done to try and keep the dream alive for greyhound racing in the state,” Mr Patton said. It’s just a little symbol of appreciation from the owners, trainers and everyone here.” Ms Hodgkinson said she was “blown away” by the news.
“To be given that sort of honour is very special, I was very touched by that,” she said.
“I’m thinking of them because they’re going through a really tough time and the next stage of their shut down.”
Meanwhile, the the Wagga-based club has vowed to continue to fight, despite staring down the barrel following the state government’s decision.
Mr Patton said club members will attend be the Orange Field Day to rally support behind the politicians who have shown support for the embattled industry.
The local racing manager believes the majority of people are not supportive of the ban, saying it has punished an entire industry for the wrong doings of a small minority.
“It’d be different if people were coming up to me saying they supported the decision, but hardly anyone has done that.”
“I’m happy to accommodate anyone who wants to see how we run everything here.
“They are welcome to see how we operate and how the trainers treat their dogs.”