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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 336 asked in the Legislative Council on 2 April 2020 by Hon Colin Holt

Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on


336. Hon COLIN HOLT to the minister representing the Minister for Racing and Gaming:

I refer to the dramatic drop in revenue for Racing and Wagering Western Australia and the announcement that it will be using cash reserves to support the industry.

(1) Will the government develop a specific compensation or stimulus package for the industry; and, if so, what will this package be?

(2) What will be the financial support for those race clubs that have had to cancel race meetings or entire seasons?

(3) Has RWWA reduced staffing levels or taken reduced remuneration; and, if so, please provide details on how much reduction has occurred and where?

(4) Will the government reconsider its take from the sale of the WA TAB and return more of the proceeds to the industry?

(5) When was Tabcorp announced as the preferred bidder for the WA TAB? If that has not occurred, can the minister explain what the CEO of RWWA meant when he was quoted in The West Australian of 30 March as saying in regard to the sale, ''It's not a priority for us and Tabcorp at the moment''?

Hon DARREN WEST replied:

On behalf of the Minister for Regional Development, I thank the honourable member for some notice of this question. The following information has been provided to me by the Minister for Racing and Gaming.

(1)–(2) The McGowan government is in frequent contact with Racing and Wagering Western Australia regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the WA racing industry. RWWA is undertaking analysis of club financials to determine what financial assistance may be required by clubs. At present, clubs are receiving their full RWWA funding where they are undertaking racing.

(3) Yes. RWWA has stood down an initial number of staff and contractors while racing is continuing. RWWA is in the process of informing impacted staff, which I believe will be finalised by Friday, 3 April. If racing is suspended, further changes will be required.

(4) The apportionment of sale proceeds will occur as per section 26 of the TAB (Disposal) Act 2019.

(5) Tabcorp has not been announced as the preferred bidder in the WA TAB sale process. The RWWA CEO explained to a journalist that the sale process was not a priority due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The significant challenges created by the pandemic require a dedicated focus, with the WA TAB sale expected to be progressed once COVID-19 has been addressed.