NSW Opposition Leader visits Central Coast with plan to boost jobs in local racing and venues industries

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NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley has declared his commitment to make Gosford and Wyong jewels in the crown of the State’s venues and horse-racing industry – creating jobs and boosting the Central Coast visitor economy.

Mr Foley – joined by Labor Candidates Kathy Smith (Gosford), David Harris (Wyong) and David Mehan (The Entrance) – today visited The Entertainment Grounds. This is the site of the Gosford Race Club which has a proud history dating back more than 100 years.

Mr Foley was in Gosford to promote Labor’s policy to cut wagering taxes for the NSW racing industry by 60 per cent. This will allow venues such as Gosford and Wyong to keep more of their income and engage in investment and expansion to attract visitors.

NSW racing currently pays the highest state tax in the country and the Baird Government has been resisting reform. Victoria imposes a tax of 7.6 per cent of gross returns, while NSW requires 19.11 per cent. This equates to a tax of $3.22 for every $100 on tote bets. If elected, a Labor Government will reduce this rate, meaning the NSW Government will only take $1.28 for every $100 bet wagered – which would bring it in line with Victoria.

“Fifty-five per cent of the economic activity generated by horse racing venues occurs in regional NSW. By reducing the tax rate to a level that is competitive with other states, we can grow this industry – including right here on the Central Coast,” Mr Foley said.

“My aim is to make NSW the racing capital of the southern hemisphere – and Gosford and Wyong will be jewels in the crown.

“With a more competitive taxation environment, we stand to create an additional 2000 jobs in racing and venue-related activities such as hospitality, facilities and events. Many of these jobs will be based at regional racetrack locations including Gosford, Wyong, Muswellbrook and Nowra.

“As I said on day one of my leadership, my number one priority is to grow jobs in the suburbs and regional centres of NSW. I’m visiting Gosford today with a fresh approach to grow jobs and boost the Central Coast visitor economy.”

Labor Candidate for Gosford Kathy Smith added: “Unemployment on the Coast is well above the State average at 6.6 per cent. We have a 28 per cent teenage unemployment rate – and it’s only Labor that’s proposing solutions.”

“Luke Foley brings fresh thinking about how we grow jobs in Gosford with a mix of pro-business and pro-public sector policies.”

Labor Candidate for Wyong David Harris said: “Both the Gosford Race Course and the Wyong Race Club are major employers and community asset. They bring visitors to this region in their thousands.”

“The competitive tax rates Luke has announced will ensure horse-racing venues can diversify and expand with confidence. It will mean more exposure for Gosford and Wyong – and jobs for people in hospitality, facilities and events.”