March 6, 2018

McGowan Government leaves racing industry in limbo

The McGowan Government needs to end the uncertainty around the sale of the TAB and make a formal commitment to the future of the racing industry in Western Australia.

Shadow Minister for Racing and Gaming John McGrath said the Government’s announcement today to further consult on the issue was nothing more than an exercise in kicking the can down the road.

“The consultation has already been done but the outcome of that consultation does not seem to support the political ends of the McGowan Government which in Opposition opposed the sale,” Mr McGrath said.

“A two-year process by the former Government that engaged with the Western Australian Racing Representative Group (WARRG) and other industry stakeholders has already concluded there is industry support for the privatisation of the TAB.

“As part of this process, $300,000 was provided to the WARRG to complete an Industry Requirements Report which allowed the racing industry to make an independent assessment on the benefits of a sale of the WA TAB.

“The outcome was that the WA racing industry formally adopted a position of conditional support for the privatisation of WA TAB in 2016.”

Mr McGrath said the former Government also undertook a number of regional consultation forums to allow race clubs around the state to have their say on the future of their industry.

“The end result of all this consultation was that the industry gave a clear directive that it wanted to work constructively with the State Government and to develop a post-privatisation framework,” Mr McGrath said.

“The former Government had a plan to sell the TAB but was blocked at every stage by the then Labor Opposition.

“The McGowan Government needs to stop re-inventing the wheel and creating unnecessary uncertainty in the racing industry.

“Once again I call on the Minister for Racing and Gaming and the WA Treasurer to immediately outline the Government’s vision for the TAB and the future of the racing industry.”

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