Cootamundra MP Katrina Hodgkinson won’t be let out of the doghouse for defying the greyhound ban, despite the government’s admission it made a colossal mistake.
Ms Hodgkinson was demoted by press release in late August after she crossed the floor of parliament in defiance of her government’s legislation banning the sport.
Despite the NSW government last week capitulating to community outrage and admitting the greyhound ban was “wrong”, Deputy Premier Troy Grant will keep Ms Hodgkinson muzzled for breaking ranks.
“Ms Hodgkinson will be considered for promotion equally amongst the other members of my team when that opportunity arises,” Mr Grant said.
Two days before Ms Hodgkinson was shafted, Mr Grant denied he harboured any resentment to the former state minister for primary industries, going as far as saying he was “proud” of her.
Last month the Wagga Greyhound Racing Club named a race Thank You Katrina Hodgkinson Stakes, emblematic of the greyhound industry’s overwhelming support for the crestfallen parliamentarian.
Temora mayor Rick Firman was effusive in his praise of Ms Hodgkinson’s “bravery” and was bitterly disappointed that she would not be reinstated as parliamentary secretary for southern NSW.
“Our council and our community are very proud of the stance Katrina took on greyhounds and the heart-felt and measured way in which she went about it,” Cr Firman said.
“It took a lot of courage to go against the government, we’re proud as punch of her.
“It is very disappointing she had her position stripped and equally disappointing she will not be reinstated.”
Cr Firman claimed Ms Hodgkinson’s defiant stand helped save the Temora shire’s local economy $250,000 a year.
Ms Hodgkinson conceded her career was in the hands of party leadership.
“I do appreciate the kind words of support from the community however roles within the ministry are ultimately matter for the Premier,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“I went into the vote with my eyes wide open and I expected there may have been consequences for my role.
“At the end of the day, it is not about me.
“It’s about the people in the greyhound industry and the thousands of jobs and small businesses in regional NSW reliant upon it.”