The Hon Jane Howlett MLC
The Tasmanian Government is committed to supporting the state’s racing industry.
As Minister for Racing I am excited to announce a further 3 per cent increase in stakes money for greyhound, harness and thoroughbred racing. This is in addition to the 3 per cent increase announced in June.
This 6 per cent total stakes increase will greatly assist Tasmania’s racing participants particularly following the impact of COVID-19 on the industry.
At the last election, our Government committed to increasing stakes by an average of 4 per cent a year and, with today’s commitment, we will have already increased stakes by 12.2 per cent.
Tasmania’s racing industry injects around $103 million a year into the state’s economy and supports jobs in rural and regional areas, with over 5,000 Tasmanians directly participating in the industry.
Tasracing will be consulting with the three codes over coming weeks to determine the exact distribution of stakes across the racing program for 2020/21 and it is expected that the new stake money levels will be in place by late September.
We will provide a further stakes increase for 2021/22 upon the full year collection of the POCT.
$2.53 million will be provided to racing from the first 6 months of the Point of Consumption Tax (POCT), with the majority of this funding to be directed into prizemoney with funds also going towards animal welfare and infrastructure. There will also be one-off support from the POCT for Tasracing, which was unable to collect any race field fees during the COVID-19 enforced shutdown.
Revenue from the POCT over this period exceeded budgeted expectations, enabling the doubling of our initial commitment to stakes increases in the current financial year.
I am extremely proud that our Government has been able to provide significant support for the state’s racing industry during these challenging times, including an industry support package of more than $4 million for animal welfare and to enable industry participants to remain in work while racing was postponed due to COVID-19.
We also recently called for applications for round 2 of the infrastructure grants program for Tasmanian racing clubs, which can be used to improve racetrack safety and upgrade facilities for patrons and participants.
Our Government will continue to work with the racing industry to create an environment that promotes growth and sustainability for the future.