Jockey clubs fear for future under new tax
QUEENSLAND jockey clubs have urged the State Government to spend funds raised by the new point of consumption tax on corporate bookmakers on the racing industry.
Club bosses have called for revenue to be funnelled into prizemoney and racing track infrastructure, warning the industry will struggle to compete with other states.
The 15 per cent POC tax was in this month's state Budget, confirming plans announced at the last election.
It will compensate Ubet for the impost but not interstate bookmakers - a move clubs claim will drive business to states with lower taxes. Similar taxes are 8 per cent in Victoria and 10 per cent in NSW.
Treasurer Jackie Trad has resisted calls to plough some of the $70 million forecast to be raised next financial year back into the industry.
But a coalition of clubs warn they will struggle to survive if they are not given a major slice of the revenue.
Brisbane Racing Club chairman Neville Bell said the decision over how to spend the revenue was the most important decision to affect the industry in a decade.
"If this golden opportunity to inject some sorely needed, and thoroughly deserved, funds from a new wagering tax is not embraced our local racing is going to languish and drift further off the package of prizemoney and infrastructure now well established - and growing - in our two rival southern states," he said.
Sunshine Coast Turf Club chief John Miller backed calls for the revenue to boost winnings and improve tracks.
Clubs at Toowoomba, the Gold Coast, Cairns and Rockhampton had similar concerns.
Gold Coast Turf Club chairman Brett Cook said bookies would move south.
A Government spokeswoman said the state was "consulting comprehensively with industry" and had delayed implementation so that everyone had a chance to have their say.