A Foley Labor Government will save the thoroughbred horse industry, to keep its thousands of good jobs here in New South Wales.

NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley today announced Labor’s commitment to protect the equine and viticulture industries of the Hunter region in his address to the NSW Labor Country Conference in Dubbo.

A future Labor government will protect the thoroughbred and wine industries by imposing a minimum distance between them and mining.

The minimum distances would be determined after talking with industry, unions and other affected parts of the community about what the appropriate buffers should be.

While the coal industry will continue to be an important employer and contributor to NSW’s economic prosperity the Hunter Region’s economy must continue to diversify through the growth of the tourism, wine-making and horse-breeding industries.

The vineyard and tourism industries in the Hunter contribute $1.8 billion to the economy and directly employ more than 7,000 people while the Hunter’s thoroughbred industry employs 4,800 people.

Quotes attributable to Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“Our thoroughbred industry is world’s best practice. It produces champion race horses as good as any in the world.

“The mighty mare Winx, recently rated the world’s best turf racehorse in the international rankings, was bred, born and raised in the Hunter Valley.

“But the leading thoroughbred industry players may be forced into relocating to another state, because of Baird Government inaction.

“Last month, for the fourth time in recent years, the thoroughbred industry had to fight for its future before the Planning Assessment Commission.

“Repeated applications for the same project are an abuse of the planning system. If the Drayton South project is rejected again, then that should be the end of it. Enough is enough.

“We have to protect the equine and viticultural industries of the Hunter by imposing a minimum distance between those critical industry clusters and mining.

“Mr Baird’s government won’t act. We will.

“Labor will save the thoroughbred horse industry and keep its thousands of good jobs here in NSW.”