Page 2307 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 3 August 2022

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competing priorities. In the ACT, rather than diverting a percentage of tax, the government makes an informed decision about support and contributes a set amount. That amount is not gifted. Government assistance for the industry comes with requirements.

The amendments that I will be moving today provide some much-needed clarity in this motion. There is clarity about how the point of consumption tax applies to more than just the horseracing and harness racing clubs. There is also clarity about what those taxes currently go to pay for. Mostly importantly, the amendments focus on the public obligations of the industry and point to the government’s vision for an industry that is sustainable in the future. I understand that the Greens have a different position on funding for the industry. The government has made a deliberate judgement about support and the public benefits that come from it, and I will speak to the reasons for that now.

The memorandum of understanding provides support for the racing industry but at the same time represents a very small component of the total ACT budget. It is important to highlight that the ACT provides funding from an MOU and not, as in other jurisdictions where there is a tax, as a proportion. The MOU provides approximately $8 million per year, over five years, to the industry. The level of funding chosen provides consistency with previous support amounts, with CPI indexation. That certainty of funding will allow the government and the industry to work collaboratively over the next five years to develop options for the future. The certainty protects local jobs from the uncertainties of the market in the short term.

A really important component of the MOU is that over the next five years it provides a very clear framework for the racing industry and the government to work together and deliver clear outcomes. These obligations ensure that public funds come with obligations to meet public expectations around transparency and also to improve animal welfare.

Key performance indicators are included in the MOU. Any member of the public can read them on the Justice and Community Safety Directorate’s website. The racing clubs have agreed to meet a range of expectations under a performance framework regarding industry management, including animal welfare obligations, integrity, ongoing viability, governance, accountability and efficiency of the industry. This includes adherence to the Australian rules of racing and the local rules of racing, which contain provisions about rehoming and retraining retired racehorses to ensure the ongoing welfare of those animals.

To oversee these new KPIs, the clubs are required to report to a joint racing industry and governance committee. The terms of reference and the details of that committee are currently being developed with a focus on ensuring that there is continuous oversight of the MOU. I expect that the first meeting of the committee will occur in September. I look forward to receiving regular updates on all of the industry’s key performance indicators.

The framework established by the MOU represents a direct contract to the approach suggested by the Canberra Liberals in this motion. A decision to support the racing industry is about making a sound judgement to protect employment and preserve an

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