Page 2029 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 28 June 2023
MADAM SPEAKER: Let us just put a line under the interjections competition.
MR COCKS: Chief Minister, what enforcement resources will be needed to produce this massive increase in revenue?
MR BARR: Thank you. I did obviously allude to a couple of examples in my response to Mr Parton’s opening question. As I indicated, there is new technology currently in a trial phase in the territory, and we are increasing police responses with a particular focus on road safety.
Gaming—betting operations tax
MR PARTON: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, the budget papers reveal that the betting operations tax will again be increased, by 25 per cent this time, in the ACT, well ahead of every other state and territory. This decision is likely to mean that corporate bookmakers will downgrade their offerings online for the Canberra racing product which will impact turnover on our races, which in turn will severely impact revenue for our thoroughbred and harness racing clubs. Why did you not consult with the racing clubs ahead of this decision, given the huge effect that it is likely to have on their viability?
MR BARR: I think Mr Parton is overstating the impact of the tax increase. I do note that other jurisdictions have also increased this revenue line in this budget round.
Mr Parton: Not to the same extent.
MR BARR: No—we have some at 20 per cent now and others that are moving towards that. But I want to commend the observations of Dr Paterson on the radio this morning, both her observations on the impact across these companies’ revenue streams and, indeed, her observations on what is coming federally, clearly, in relation to bans on advertising for this particular industry. That is out of control.
Mr Parton: Madam Speaker, on a point of order on relevance: the question has nothing to do with online advertising for gaming. It is about consultation with the race clubs regarding this change to the betting operations tax. I would ask the Chief Minister to be relevant.
MADAM SPEAKER: He was relevant to it. He was just providing additional information. Chief Minister, do you have anything else to add?
MR BARR: No. I have completed my answer.
MR PARTON: Chief Minister, are you trying to starve racing to death in the ACT?
MR BARR: No.
MR HANSON: Chief Minister, can you rule out the compulsory acquisition of Thoroughbred Park?
MR BARR: Yes, I can.