State KAP Leader and Member for Traeger Robbie Katter has called on the State Government to urgently re-think how it will distribute the $70 million it is expected to make annually from the new Point of Consumption Tax, which commenced on October 1.
Mr Katter has today written to Queensland Minister for Racing Stirling Hinchliffe requesting a meeting to discuss the matter, which he said would see the state’s racing industry condemned to “begging, borrowing and stealing” just to stay alive.
“It is astounding to me that the State Government has seen fit to slog Queenslanders with this tax, which is the highest of its kind in Australia, without even thinking about funnelling some of the profits back in the industry that are one of the biggest contributors,” he said.
“Racing in Queensland is not just a money-making industry, it is hugely significant socially – particularly so in country towns where it is vital to the sustainability of these communities and it should be treated as such.”
Mr Katter said the racing industry was responsible for generating more than $1.2 billion in value-added contribution to the Queensland economy each year – 47 per cent of which directly benefits regional economies. It also provides around 9,500 direct and in-direct jobs.
Mr Katter said country and city racing shared a symbiotic relationship, and that both needed to be successful to ensure overall viability.
He said he couldn’t believe the greed being displayed by the State Government.
“Wouldn’t you think that the government would use the opportunity of this brand new revenue stream to bolster the foundations of the industry; even if it was only a small sliver of the money this tax will make?” Mr Katter said.
“They have been greedy again, and as it stands the industry and communities that need this money are not going to see one cent of it.”