Opposition Leader Luke Foley says racing infrastructure should be ‘top priority’ after tax parity   Leave a comment

Opposition Leader Luke Foley says racing infrastructure should be ‘top priority’ after tax parity

Date
July 13, 2015 – 3:38PM
Top priority: NSW  Opposition leader Luke Foley.Top priority: NSW Opposition leader Luke Foley. Photo: Dallas Kilponen

NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley has warned Racing NSW’s imminent tax parity relief should be geared towards upgrading the state’s ailing racing infrastructure – rather than any automatic prizemoney top-ups – as the industry awaits legislation being enacted later this year.

Deputy Premier and Racing Minister Troy Grant has heeded calls from Racing NSW powerbrokers and Foley to provide certainty in how the tax model will be rolled out, pledging to take the issue to cabinet in September before pushing through legislation.

But Foley, who made racing tax parity one of his first election promises when ushered in as Labor leader earlier this year, is already advising racing’s inflated coffers should be redirected to regional areas rather than ballooning autumn prizemoney levels.

The rich, powerful and famous: Royal Randwick attracted luminaries such as Prime Minister Tony Abbott, actor Simon Baker and radio broadcaster Alan Jones to the Championships.The rich, powerful and famous: Royal Randwick attracted luminaries such as Prime Minister Tony Abbott, actor Simon Baker and radio broadcaster Alan Jones to the Championships. Photo: Getty Images

“Infrastructure is my top priority and spreading the benefits throughout the state is the top priority,” Foley told Fairfax Media. “This can’t just be aimed at the top of the pyramid. Having said that I think The Championships in [the] autumn are an important showcase for NSW racing. And, of course, to attract the best fields prizemoney has to be attractive.

“I’m happy to look at a balance, but it’s important the benefits are spread throughout the state and it doesn’t exclusively go towards The Championships.”

Premier Mike Baird and Grant have agreed to phase in tax parity in NSW over a five-year period, which will reduce the betting tax for every $100 wagered with the TAB from $3.22 to a level of $1.28, comparable with Victoria. The NSW racing industry will receive $10 million in January in the first year of the staggered introduction and will be expected to receive as much as $100 million a year when the model is fully implemented.

But the big question is where will the money be spent?

Racing NSW crafted a strategic plan late last year outlining a number of prizemoney increases if parity was achieved in full – including a more than $15 million budget for promotion and purses for The Championships, as well as a minimum $100,000 on offer for every Saturday metropolitan race.

Those figures will need to be massaged given the gradual implementation of the parity model.

Foley, who spoke to a number of industry participants on Grafton Cup day in his role as Shadow Minister for Racing, said a broad approach was needed when distributing the funds.

Asked what feedback he was receiving from racing’s country participants, Foley said: “That there’s a need to invest in country facilities, track facilities and all of the associated infrastructure that the industry needs. There are 50,000 people employed directly [in racing], but so many more that are employed indirectly. When there’s a lot of concern about the strength of regional economies, racing is a permanent industry that provides benefits to regional economies.

“I’m glad the Coalition’s adopted my [tax parity] policy and now I want to see them spell out exactly how it will be delivered and I want to see this legislation so no future Treasurer or budget committee can claw back the money from the racing industry.”

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/sport/horseracing/opposition-leader-luke-foley-says-racing-infrastructure-should-be-top-priority-after-tax-parity-20150713-giav8p.html#ixzz3flds59tf

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Posted July 14, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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