The Nationals WA will move to amend legislation that will enable the privatisation of the WA TAB to ensure all sale proceeds are returned to WA’s racing industry.
The McGowan Government currently proposes to bank 65 per cent of the TAB sale revenue, while industry will receive just 35 per cent.
The Nationals’ amendment will alter the legislation so 100 per cent of the sale proceeds go back to the industry.
“Any proceeds should be for the benefit of the industry to ensure it has a sustainable future,” Ms Davies said. “We feel 35 per cent for the WA racing industry – which includes the thoroughbred, harness and greyhound codes – will not provide this security.
“The Nationals WA have a long history of standing up for the WA racing industry. Our amendment would see the WA racing industry get 100 per cent of the revenue from the TAB sale.
“This is a once-in-a-generation chance for WA’s racing industry to secure its future. The McGowan Government’s current proposal is short-changing the tens of thousands of West Australians involved in the industry.”
Ms Davies said in 2015 the WA Labor Party – under then Opposition Leader Mark McGowan – moved a motion in State Parliament opposing the sale of the WA TAB.
“In 2015 Mr McGowan and a number of his MPs warned regional race clubs would shut their doors if the TAB was sold in a deceitful scare campaign,” Ms Davies said.
“Those same MPs are now proposing a sale which would see the racing industry severely short-changed. I urge those MPs to stand up for the industry and vote to support our amendment.”
Racing and Gaming spokesperson Colin Holt said 35 per cent of revenue from the TAB sale would fail to address the infrastructure backlog at race clubs throughout the State.
“The racing industry, particularly in regional WA, is a key economic driver and creates wealth and social outcomes in our communities,” Mr Holt said. “We’ve convinced the industry of the need to sell the TAB to ensure we remain competitive in an increasingly congested wagering market but what good is a sale if we can’t secure the industry’s future?
“We want clubs to be able to use the TAB sale as a springboard for their future and to address the infrastructure issues which will allow them to thrive. This will in turn lead to economic benefits for regional communities including flow-on benefits for tourism and retail.”