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WA Industry Worried About Potential TAB Sale
The Western Australian thoroughbred racing industry held an emergency meeting at Perth's Belmont Park yesterday to address concerns about the sale of the TAB, reports abc.net.au. The industry said that similar moves in Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland have proved disastrous to their local racing industries. In the recent state budget, the WA Government flagged the TAB as one of several state assets that could be privatised in an attempt to reduce debt. WA Racing Trainers Association President Michael Grant told ABC local radio that trainers are concerned over the potential loss of funding from the TAB, which supports thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing. "One of our main concerns is obviously having seen the devastating effects associated with the sales of TABs in other states - so our concerns are well founded," he said. "And the TAB under racing and waging WA is a good strong performing business that returns the profits to the industry… that filters down to prize money, and that's what drives the industry." Mr Grant said the industry, which employs 30,000 people and is worth more than $600 million a year to the local economy, retains a lot of confidence from the TAB. Racing and Gaming Minister Terry Waldron said at this stage the government was not planning to sell the TAB. He said he would only support such a proposal "if it was in the best interests of the racing industry and the community to do so."