It’s unfortunate the Queensland Government has entered into a thirty year deal with the Tatts Group while the QCA review of industry assistance is underway, a review which might be informative on the relative costs and benefits of supporting the racing industry (see Brisbane Times coverage). The deal appears to commit the Government’s statutory body Racing Queensland to around $100 million in infrastructure spending, but it would have been good to have first seen some analysis from the QCA as to whether a Government body should be investing in the racing industry. Unfortunately, the QCA has only recently assumed a Productivity Commission-type role, so many Government policies that assist industry haven’t been subject to the scrutiny they deserve. Finally, it seems unwise to enter into a thirty year deal, given it ties the hands of future Governments.
My earlier posts on the QCA’s industry assistance review include:
Here are the relevant extracts from last Friday’s media release from the Treasurer and Racing Minister:
Multi-billion dollar deal secures bright future for Queensland racing
The future for 30,000 jobs supported through the Queensland racing sector is brighter after the State Government reached a new 30-year wagering agreement.
Racing Minister Steve Dickson said the Queensland Government would undertake an exclusive retail wagering licence with Tatts Group, expected to provide over $4.5 billion to the Queensland racing industry…
…“Importantly, country racing and infrastructure investment will both be supported, as a key part of the agreement includes $97 million for infrastructure development and $5 million over five years for country and regional racing…
…Treasurer and Member for Clayfield Tim Nicholls said the Government was restoring confidence and growth in the Queensland racing sector, “Strong negotiations over past months have resulted in a much better and bigger deal for the Queensland racing industry; with an extra $850 million funding in addition to the $130 million per year revenue the industry currently receives under existing arrangements with Tatts,” Mr Nicholls said.
Additionally Tatts will also invest more than $74 million in the racing industry by increasing Queensland marketing activities and expanding its retail network across various hotels, clubs and pubs across the state.