Treasury review of costs and function of Tasracing

Jane Howlett,Minister for Racing

An independent review into the costs and functions of Tasracing is a welcome benchmarking of the performance of the State-owned company against comparable organisations in other jurisdictions.

The review, conducted by the Department of Treasury and Finance, was made public today and is available at www.treasury.tas.gov.au/government-businesses/strategic-reviews/tasracing-2020-review

This public release of the review demonstrates the Government’s commitment to transparency with the racing industry in relation to the performance of Tasracing, which is the Principal Racing Authority in Tasmania for the three codes of thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing.

While the review is clear that comparisons between Tasracing and other organisation is complex due to the variety of governance arrangements across Australia, it reveals a number of key similarities and differences.

The review compares Tasracing performance against peers over the four-year period between 2015-16 and 2018-19. Among the Review’s findings are:

* Tasracing’s expenditure in proportion to its total revenue is broadly in line with its peers;

* Participation in all three racing codes is in decline nationally, and Tasmania is not immune from this trend; and

* Tasmania receives a large proportion of its funding from the Government, although this reliance has declined over the past decade.

I am pleased that the high proportion of public funding of the industry has declined somewhat, but there is more work to do and the introduction of the Point of Consumption Tax is a revenue source that will benefit racing.

Racing industry participants remember that the industry was largely sustainable and self-funded until the former Labor-Green Government sold the publicly-owned TOTE in 2011.

While the Review notes the growth in prizemoney has slightly trailed other jurisdictions over the comparison period (7 per cent versus the national average of 8 percent), the Review period did not take into account the very large increases in stakes money made available in recent years including 12 per cent in the current financial year alone.

The Government was re-elected with an ambitious commitment to an average 4 per cent annual increase in stakes money and we have well and truly exceeded that target with cumulative increases totalling 19 per cent in less than three years.

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