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Project hosts Waleed Aly and Carrie Bickmore slam Mike Baird's backflip on greyhound racing.

The Project hosts have slammed the NSW Government’s decision to overturn its ban on the greyhound industry.

NSW Premier Mike Baird admitted he “got it wrong” in a media conference held to discuss the reversal, ABC reports.

Baird said the quick-move to ban the industry didn’t allow for the racing community to reform negative practices in order to cultivate a safer environment.

“We did not give the good people in the industry a chance to respond – a chance to reform,” he said.

NSW Premier Mike Baird. (Source: Network 10.)

The proposed move was announced in early July this year with a ban to roll out from 2017 onward.

Greyhound trainer Ken Burnett appeared on the show to discuss his hopes for the future of the industry.

"Hopefully with the new regulator who's coming on board, the Premier is giving us a chance to prove to NSW the regulator can improve the regulations," he said.

"Improve our industry to having zero tolerance to animal welfare, zero tolerance to live baiting and give us an opportunity to show the NSW Government and the public that we can prove we can do things right."

Source: Network 10.
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Co-host Carrie Bickmore responded to the statement by bringing up the current case of a greyhound owner brought before the courts with a charge of animal cruelty.

"Can you understand why some people don't have a lot of faith that the industry can reform?" she asked.

Burnett responded by saying cases such as the one mentioned were unavoidable aspects of modern society.

"Things like that happen in society - there's always someone who will do the wrong thing," he said.

The trainer went on to discuss how animal welfare has always been upheld by the majority of the industry but was soon interrupted by Waleed Aly.

"Sorry Ken, you can't say that, mate. After what we've seen, you cannot say animal welfare has always been the priority," he said.

= "Significant proportions of the industry have been doing horrific things for a long time - that's the starting point of this conversation."

The discussion then turned to how the decision would impact Premier Baird's professional career.

Todd Sampson. (Source: Network 10.)
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Project guest co-host Todd Sampson viewed the sudden flip as hugely damaging to the politician's credibility.

"From a personal branding point of view this was an absolutely ridiculous decision by Mike Baird," he said. "Whether you agree with it or not he was known for making hard decisions, now he's known for making popular decisions."

"This is not people power - this is powerful people that got in his ear and forced him to change."

Co-host Carrie Bickmore reminded audiences of when Baird appeared on the show to discuss the proposed ban.

"Remember when we had him on the desk and he was so adamant there was just no turning back - even wanting other states to follow suit," she said.

Aly echoed the warning that the Premier's change-of-heart could hold disastrous consequences for his future career.

"Doesn't political history show us that when you take a big stand on something and then wind it back you don't usually get what you want," he said.

The NSW Government proposes harsher penalties for those found to be mistreating the dogs such as jail terms for live baiting, restrictions on breeding and lifelong monitoring of dogs.