From the CEO – lease with DAPS

Friday 17 July 2020

I am writing to inform you about Tasracing’s lease with the Devonport Agricultural Pastoral Society (DAPS) to conduct harness and greyhound racing and trials.

The issue has been featured in local media reports over the past week. Tasracing wants to assure you we strongly believe in the future of greyhound and harness racing on the North West Coast.

While our message in the media has been that we have a valid and enforceable lease on the Devonport Showgrounds until 2040, for background the “Agreement for Lease” commenced on 1 August 1990 (signed by the then Tasmanian Racing Directorate) and ran for an initial term of 25 years.

The lease included an option for Tasracing to take a further lease for 25 years from 1 August 2015.

Tasracing exercised this option by giving notice to the landlord (DAPS) in 2014.

The “Agreement for Lease” says that if agreement cannot be reached on the rental amount then an independent valuer will be appointed to determine the amount payable.

Tasracing has attempted to reach agreement with DAPS on a new rent figure on numerous occasions.

Most recently we have sought to refer the dispute to an independent valuer for determination, but that has been opposed by DAPS.

Tasracing has continued to pay rent (at the rate payable during the final year of the initial term of the lease plus CPI and outgoings).

Tasracing will continue to make these payments until the new rental amount is agreed or otherwise determined by an independent valuer.

Tasracing has undertaken important maintenance works at the premises to ensure it is WHS compliant and we are committed to investing a further $277,000 in critical site infrastructure immediately on resolution of the rental amount.

Tasracing has instructed our lawyers to take steps to have all disputes concerning the “Agreement for Lease” resolved.

This work is well advanced but has been delayed in recent months by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finally, while we are working diligently to resolve the issue, Tasracing will continue to support racing on the North West Coast and will work to ensure that local participants are not adversely impacted.

Paul Eriksson