The Queensland government is considering demands from the racing industry over the state’s new gambling tax.
Stirling Hinchliffe and Treasurer Jackie Trad both met with thoroughbred racing officials on Tuesday, amid threats to strike on Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup day unless money from the new tax is directed back to the industry.
Labor’s point of consumption tax means betting houses with headquarters overseas or interstate must now pay 15 per cent tax on all bets placed in the state.
NSW has introduced the tax at 10 per cent while Victoria has it at eight per cent, with both of those state’s allocating a portion of the earnings to roll back into the racing industry.
Queensland instead is offering a new greyhound track and another for harness racing, collectively worth $20 million and funded by the tax.
The racing industry wants a portion of the funds to be used to fund extra prize money for thoroughbred racing on an ongoing basis.
In a media release an alliance of Queensland racing organisations said it had been given the opportunity to present its case to government.
“We were given every opportunity to express our message, and that we did in a very robust, passionate and constructive way,” the alliance said..
“Our mission was to ensure the government was fully informed on the current state of thoroughbred racing, a situation worsening by the day over recent years as the gap to the two market leader states NSW and Victoria continues to widen at an alarming rate.”
The government is understood to be considering the issue but hasn’t given a deadline for when it will make a decision.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk earlier on Tuesday said she believed the state’s racing industry was already well-funded.
“Let me be very clear, the racing industry has had a large amount of money from my government for infrastructure across the state,” Ms Palaszczuk said
But the premier said she was confident Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe could work out a deal with the industry.