TAB sale in public interest and essential for budget repair

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCI) welcomes the State Government’s confirmation today that it will progress with the sale of the TAB, providing certainty to industry while releasing funds to pay down debt.

The Government should sell assets when the private sector can provide the service more efficiently such that the public interest is better served.

CCI has long called for the sale of Government assets, where appropriate, to pay down debt, boost investment and regain Western Australia’s AAA credit rating, so the Government’s decision to direct 65 per cent of the sale proceeds to reducing State debt is especially welcome.

After the sale of the Australian Capital Territory’s TAB in 2014, WA became the last remaining state to have a Government-owned gambling agency.

Across Australia, the wagering industry is becoming increasingly competitive, as national and international firms spend hundreds of millions of dollars on developing their brand and technology infrastructure.

We encourage the Government to now focus on maximising returns from the sale of the TAB for the benefit of the racing industry and WA taxpayers.

The sale of the TAB presents an opportunity for the Government to continue to assess the ownership of all state-owned assets, which has the potential to wipe billions of dollars off State debt while increasing productivity by accelerating infrastructure construction.

Outside the Government’s well-flagged METRONET, infrastructure spending is lacking in WA over the forward estimates.

Recycling assets will allow the Government to pay down debt and invest in new infrastructure that will create jobs and ensure WA’s skilled workforce remains in the State.

CCI encourages the Government to continue to identify assets that can be sold to the private sector, including Western Power, which if partially sold would wipe almost $11 billion off net debt.

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