Under the leadership of The Nationals WA Ministers, Terry Waldron, Colin Holt and Brendon Grylls, the State Government has consulted with the Western Australian Racing Representative Group (WARRG) and other industry stakeholders over the past two years.
As part of this process, a Industry Requirements Report was complete which allowed the industry to make an independent assessment on the benefits of a sale of WATAB.
The Nationals WA support the sale of WATAB that is in the best interests of the racing industry, provided the following conditions are met:
- Ongoing funding at least at present levels;
- All proceeds from the sale are returned to the industry - including the establishment of a Racing Infrastructure Fund;
- Taxation parity with other States (following a recent decision of NSW wagering tax, WA will be the highest taxing jurisdiction); and
- Responsible product expansion (not poker of electronic gaming machines) within the existing retail TAB footprint.
Regional Infrastructure Funding
It is time to put an emphasis on race club infrastructure and sustainability. Race clubs are the managers of all racing events and provide training and stabling facilities that are pivotal to participation and access for industry.
The Nationals will ensure all proceeds from the sale of the WATAB are reinvested into the racing industry. The Racing Infrastructure Fund, established from the sale of the WATAB, will assist the development of racing infrastructure at racing venues across the State.
In addition, we will reinstate the Racing Infrastructure Grants Program, worth $20 million over four years.
The Nationals WA recognise the social and economic value of all our country race clubs and country race rounds. WA Country Cups aims to foster the development and promotion of country racing across the State.
The Nationals WA will provide $4 million over four years to expand the Country Cups program for both thoroughbred and harness racing, including the establishment of specialist tourism and marketing team to assist country clubs in promoting their key race events.
Support for Metropolitan Racing
Strong metropolitan racing is the key to continuing to attract new participants to the racing industry in all three codes of racing - thoroughbred, harness and greyhounds.
In order to ensure their prosperity, The Nationals WA commit to providing ongoing support to Perth Racing, Gloucester Park and the Western Australian Greyhound Racing Association.
Review of Ownership and Syndication Rules and Breeding Incentive Scheme
Declining ownership and breeding numbers present a worrying trend for the WA racing industry.
To address these issues, The Nationals WA will ensure a comprehensive review is undertaken to identify issues of ownership and syndication rules, breeding incentive schemes and new ways of increasing participation and sustainability.
A Wagering tax is paid by the WATAB to the government each year and with NSW's decision to reduce their take, WA's will be the highest in Australia.
The emergence of corporate bookmakers, operating out of low-taxing jurisdictions has meant the WATAB faces a battle to compete. At the same time, corporate bookmakers pay little tax to the WA government.
The Nationals WA are committed to moving towards wagering taxation parity and exploring the implementation of a 'point of consumption' tax, to ensure corporate bookmakers in low taxing jurisdictions pay their fair share. Proceeds from this tax will be re-invested into the WA racing industry.
For more detail on our commitments, read our full policy paper here.