Call for Deputy Premier Troy Grant to step down as Racing Minister

Deputy Premier and NSW Nationals leader Troy Grant. Picture: James Brickwood

Deputy Premier and NSW Nationals leader Troy Grant. Picture: James Brickwood

A Hunter greyhound industry supporter says NSW Nationals leader Troy Grant should step down from his role as Racing and Gaming Minister.

Former Cessnock mayor Maree Callaghan, whose husband is a prominent Hunter dog trainer, called for Mr Grant to relinquish the portfolio this week in the wake of the Baird Government’s backdown on its proposed greyhound racing ban.

Ms Callaghan suggested that Nationals MP Katrina Hodgkinson should take the reins.

“She is one tough lady who has an understanding of racing,” she said.

“She is well regarded and the industry would be eager to work with her.”

Mr Grant holds the positions of Deputy Premier, Police Minister, Racing and Gaming Minister and Minister for the Arts.

Ms Callaghan said there had been two major investigations involving Mr Grant’s portfolios in recent months – the inquest into the 2014 Lindt Cafe siege and the greyhound inquiry.

“The workload is too large for him,” she said.

“[The racing portfolio] has had a revolving door of 12 ministers in the past 20 years and in every case racing has been tacked on the end of a list of other more exciting ministries. 

“So, it has never had the attention and management it required.”

Nationals MP Katrina Hodgkinson. Picture: Katherine Griffiths

Nationals MP Katrina Hodgkinson. Picture: Katherine Griffiths

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald said he firmly supported Mr Grant retaining his roles.

"He has extensive experience in both the policing and gaming portfolios,” he said. 

“Additionally he has long-standing family and professional connections with the Hunter, which I appreciate.

“The recent Royal Commission Newcastle hearings into child abuse demonstrated Troy Grant has the highest personal ethical standards and I am proud to serve with him."

Fairfax Media has contacted Mr Grant’s office for comment.

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