Labor forces Parliamentray Inquiry into Yaralla horse affair


The NSW Labor Opposition has today forced a parliamentary inquiry into the O’Farrell Government’s decision to evict community horses from public paddocks at the Yaralla Estate.

The Government evicted around 30 horses owned by members of the local community from the public paddocks at the historic Yaralla Estate in Concord last month.

This was despite the estate being bequeathed to the people in 1938 and set aside for public space and the agistment of local horses, as well as health services.

Labor’s motion to establish the parliamentary inquiry was supported by the Shooters and Fishers, Christian Democratic and Greens parties.

Labor’s Leader in the Legislative Council, Luke Foley said the inquiry would finally get to the bottom of the Government’s dealings over the murky affair.

Mr Foley has already revealed:

. A secret deal was signed between two arms of the Government to move the Mounted Police horses to the Yaralla Estate without going to tender – at the expense of local community horses;
. Following intense scrutiny, the Government was forced to put the contract out for public tender, but internal Health documents confirmed the fix was still in and the Mounted Police was still the preferred tenderer;
. The Government originally entered into a ‘mates rates’ deal with the Mounted Police, signing away the public paddocks for a fraction of what community horse owners were paying; and
. A Liberal Party donor wrote the ‘independent’ audit that was used by the Health Minister and her bureaucrats to force the local horses off the estate.

“This inquiry will get to the bottom of the outrageous treatment of local community members and their horses,” Mr Foley said.

“I have said for weeks now that this is an equine scandal of far greater substance than the More Joyous affair.

“The Health Minister has remained silent and allowed her bureaucrats to evict these horses despite community outrage.

“This matter is far from over.”