TBQA Slams Point of Consumption Tax Ignorance

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Thoroughbred Breeders Queensland Association President Basil Nolan is deeply disappointed by Queensland Treasurer Jackie Trad’s decision not to provide income to the racing industry from the new Point of Consumption tax.

The PoC came into effect from October 1st, with all bets in Queensland being taxed 15%. It’s expected to raise almost $70 million in the first year alone.

“In NSW and Victoria the revenue from this tax is reinvested in the racing industry and that was what Racing Queensland and the TBQA had been lobbying the Queensland Government for – or even a significant proportion of the 15% to be returned to the industry,” said TBQA President, Basil Nolan.

“Unfortunately, our efforts fell on deaf ears.”

Instead of enabling the racing industry to become self-sufficient and sustainable, the State Government will simply cover a reimbursement for Racing Queensland to the TAB for its racing fees bill and write off RQ’s $17.8 million debt. RQ will also receive $20 million grant this financial year to be used on two new racing facilities in harness racing and greyhound tracks.

 “That’s a one-off of less than $40 million dollars coming back to the industry which will be making a minimum $70 million per year for the Government,” said Mr Nolan.

“A $20 million infrastructure grant for the dogs and trots is not going to assist the thoroughbred industry which is the most important gambling medium for the State.

“What about a financial commitment moving forward? Is the Government simply planning to take this $70 million each year and put it in their coffers? Where is this money going to be distributed?”

Mr Nolan said this tax is a whole new revenue stream and will be generated solely from the racing industry, it is only common sense that some of this revenue be returned to the industry to ensure that racing is viable and sustainable in Queensland.

Every other state that has introduced this tax has a guaranteed yearly percentage of revenue injected back to the racing industry. I do not understand why the Queensland Government can’t use the same model as NSW, SA or Victoria when it clearly is so successful.

Queensland is already trailing New South Wales and Victoria in its return to the industry from the wagering dollar. The tax, which will return at least $70 million annually, could have been used to close the gap between Queensland and the other states but instead Ms Trad is going to deepen the divide.

This decision has made Queensland even less competitive and will undoubtedly lead to a downturn in jobs across the State.

“If this industry isn’t sustained and supported by the State Government, who so readily takes from it, then participants will go to NSW or Victoria and the 40,000 plus jobs that are directly related to racing will be severely impacted.”

Mr Nolan said this decision is a disgrace and will have a very serious impact on racing. We are already racing for lower prize money than anywhere else in the country and our facilities are often inferior to other States.

“It seems as if the Treasurer is determined to destroy the goose that lays the golden egg,” said Mr Nolan.

“The argument that racing will be no worse off is a false one; the fact that every other state is receiving revenue from the Point of Consumption tax already puts Queensland behind.”

Mr Nolan said the Government Ministers eagerly attend racing events and appear to understand the value of the industry, yet they’re prepared to ‘sell-out’ the grass root participants, the people who will suffer the most from the Government’s ignorance and complacency.

Mr Nolan hopes that common sense will prevail and the matter will be revisited.