ANIMAL Justice Party candidate for Kurrajong Dr Julie Smith is calling on whoever forms ACT government on Saturday (October 17) to reallocate the $6 million of funds given to the Canberra horse racing industry to local initiatives such as the pink Sleepbus.
The delivery of a pink Sleepbus in Canberra will provide a safe night’s sleep to women and children (with space for pets), who are fleeing violence, and is something that inspired Dr Smith to run as a candidate in the ACT election about two weeks ago.
And, if she helps form government she says she’ll push to re-allocate funds to other areas such as refuges, vulnerable women and animals.
“Women can remain in unsafe and violent relationships or delay escaping when they cannot find suitable accommodation for their pets,” says Dr Smith, who has been compassionate about standing up for animals since learning about the “cruel” live animal export trade.
“Perpetrators of domestic violence are often cruel to their animals as well,” she says.
“Properly funding such programs for Canberra’s most vulnerable women, children and animals should be a budget priority.”
Without it being a priority, Dr Smith says women’s charities are forced to fundraise for initiatives such as the Sleepbus for Canberra.
“This would be a far better use of Canberrans’ money, and make our city a better place for animals and people,” she says.
“CityNews” contacted Canberra Racing Club, who declined to comment, however, Dr Smith’s calls come weeks after the Canberra racing industry said it was fighting for its future.
The industry said the livelihood of 440 locals are at risk following the ACT government’s implementation of a Point of Consumption (POC) tax in early 2019.
From the tax, the industry said betting operators are raising more than $11 million per annum to the ACT government, however, they don’t get a percentage of it.
Every other jurisdiction in Australia has provided a share of this windfall gain back to the racing industry in acknowledgement it is the racing industry’s hard work that creates the opportunity for this revenue, the industry said.