Bob Carr Still Getting It Wrong On Club Pokie Tax

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14th October 2009, 10:36am - Views: 1712

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14 October 2009


False claims by former Premier Bob Carr on club poker machine tax rates are a painful reminder

for the industry of the record number of clubs that closed during his time as NSW leader.

Bob Carr, who introduced almost 30,000 poker machines into the NSW hotel industry, was the

chief spruiker of then Treasurer

Michael Egan’s $1.4 billion club pokie tax increases in May 2003

and which commenced in September 2004.

Some important facts have been omitted in his attack on the NSW club industry published today in

the Sydney Morning Herald. Had reporter Matthew Moore contacted ClubsNSW for comment, he

would have been told the following:

The author of the book Casino Clubs NSW Betty Con Walker is indeed a former treasury

official. She is also considered the leading consultant

for hotels applying for more poker


and has been a long time defender of the NSW hotel industry. This fact was

revealed by Mr Moore’s own newspaper as far back as 2003.

Since Bob Carr increased poker machine tax rates in 2004, employment in the club industry

has fallen by more than 9,000 direct jobs. This massive decline in jobs was acknowledged

by the SMH earlier this year.

Clubs have in the past 5 years alone paid



in poker machine tax to the NSW

Government. Of this amount,

$712m is solely due to increased poker machine tax rates.

This figure continues to grow with each passing year.

Under the revised club poker machine tax rates agreed to by Morris Iemma when Premier,

large clubs still pay a tax rate 52% higher than the original rate.

Bob Carr is no expert on the Club Industry. During his time as leader of the Government,

134 clubs closed, and another 79 were forced to amalgamate to remain open in some

capacity. This is a ‘record’ surely no Premier will ever beat.

The NSW Independent


and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) last year measured


social contribution of clubs at $811 million each year. This is the social worth of clubs to the

community, and considers club services and facilities such as affordable meals, free

transport, the provision of sporting facilities, etc.

It doesn’t include the financial support

clubs make of the community.

CEO of ClubsNSW David Costello said Mr Carr’s suggestion that the community didn’t support

club’s campaign for a fair rate of tax is an attempted rewrite of NSW political history.

“We had two rallies on Macquarie Street, with each attended by more than 15,000 people. The

second featured a petition containing the signatures of more than 150,000 people. The people

were furious with Bob Carr and Michael Egan and to this day people still sigh with relief that both

men resigned from politics.

“Bob Carr was the worst thing that ever happened to the club industry, the 9,000 people who used

to work in clubs and to the charities and sporting groups supported by clubs. It’s not a legacy I

would have thought he wanted to revisit”, David Costello said.

Media: Jeremy Bath 0419 267 789

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