MY wife and I have recently returned from Adelaide at which time we attended a Globe Derby Trotting meeting, Globe Derby being South Australia’s premier track.
At this meeting, the opportunity was taken to sit down with the club’s president and vice-president and chat to various long-standing club members.
I was horrified to see the poor stakes. They race for as little as $2000 and I learnt that the club was not in a position to pay for basic maintenance items, which clearly was to the detriment of those attending this on-course facility.
The ongoing viability of the club would appear to revolve around the sale of some rezoned land adjacent the highway.
The club’s financial demise was directly attributed to the sale of the TAB to a corporate entity – which in turn saw reduced income flow to the club and the obvious negative knock-on effect to those in the industry.
The next day I read in an Adelaide paper that the SA Jockey Club recently incurred a loss of some $2.6 million.
From information available locally, the three racing codes in the Peel region are the second largest employer by industry, so it astounds me that we would even consider a sale given our understanding of what has happened in other states.
The WA TAB returns some $70 million annually to State Government revenue by way of Wagering tax and GST, so it simply does not make sense to sell such a profitable asset no matter what the price – it is extremely short sighted.
Our elected leaders need to fully understand and appreciate not only the real financial considerations but also the affect that a sale would have on the many thousands of people (voters) connected to the three racing codes in Western Australia.
GEOFF FULLER, South Yunderup.