MPS AND INDUSTRY FEAR IMPACTS OF SELLING BETTING AGENCY
As the State Government plans to sell the TAB, racing industry workers say they are worried about the effects it will have on the local racing industry.
WITH the State Government’s plan to sell the TAB going ahead, racing industry workers say they are worried what it will do to local racing.
Vice president of the WA Racing Trainers Association John Lugg said the sale of the TAB would decimate local racing.
“We are all worried about how the decision to sell the TAB will affect the long-term sustainability of local racing,” he said.
“The industry is already suffering from the uncertainty around its future.”
Premier Colin Barnett detailed in the state’s 2015-16 Budget that the decision to sell the TAB and pursue a sensible program of asset sales would enable the Government to build new infrastructure to support growth without putting further pressure on the state’s finances.
But opposition spokesman for racing and gaming Mick Murray said the Government needed to heed warnings from Queensland about the condition of its racing industry under a privatised TAB.
Mr Murray said Racing Queensland recently announced it was burdened with “mounting and unsustainable losses”.
He said there was no clearer warning about where the WA racing would be in 10 or 15 years if it were sold.
“The numbers don’t lie and Queensland’s Racing and Gaming Minister has now had to intervene to try to restore some sort of workable future for their industry,” he said.
Belmont MLA Glenys Godfrey and East Metropolitan MLC Samantha Rowe have visited racing industry workers in recent weeks.
“Although the current TAB system has some flaws, it works well in general and does not negatively impact on the State Gov- ernment,” Ms Godfrey said.
“Privatising the TAB exposes the WA racing industry to more risks, so the feedback I get every time I go to the races at Belmont is the industry would prefer to work on the areas that need improvement and not sell the TAB.”
Ms Rowe said trainers in Ascot were very concerned about the impact of the TAB sale on the local industry and on the WA racing industry more broadly.
“The trainers know the sale of the TAB is not about producing a benefit to the racing industry,” she said.
“The TAB supports thousands of jobs around the state, and many here in Belmont. It also injects millions of dollars into WA racing every year.”
WA Race Trainers Association vice-president John Lugg with East Metropolitan Region MLC
Member for East Metro Samantha Rowe with trainer and vice president of the WA Race Trainers Association John Lugg.