06/03/2018 - 15:37

TAB sale consultation to commence

06/03/2018 - 15:37

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The state government has completed its analysis of potential sale options of the TAB wagering business, with a two-phase consultation process with the racing industry now set to take place to determine a final outcome.

TAB sale consultation to commence
Paul Papalia says consultation with the racing industry will now occur. Photo: Attila Csaszar

The state government has completed its analysis of potential sale options of the TAB wagering business, with a two-phase consultation process with the racing industry now set to take place to determine a final outcome.

The report, compiled by Treasury and its commercial advisor Investec, provides several different transaction options, which have not been released to the public.

The consultation process initially comprises discussions with Racing and Wagering Western Australia centred on the findings in the report.

If one of the sale options is agreed upon, the government will release a discussion paper on the proposed sale plan.  

“Consultation with the racing industry will now occur involving the RWWA Board, its racing code sub committees, wider racing stakeholders and the public,” Racing and Gaming Minister Paul Papalia said.

“We value the racing industry because it creates jobs, supports the broader economy and is a great tourism asset for Western Australia.”

The first stage of consultation is expected to be completed in April.

The state government is currently considering the sale of land registry agency Landgate, with Investec also acting as commercial advisor.

Treasurer Ben Wyatt said the government would consider all options.

“Unlike the previous government, we have undertaken the required analysis on the many inter related issues regarding the TAB and will work in close consultation with the racing industry on the best path forward.”

Shadow Minister for Racing and Gaming John McGrath said the government’s announcement 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."

 

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