West Australia’s TAB under Consideration for Privatisation Sale

The Totalisator Agency Board or the TAB in West Australia (WA), is currently under review in line with a proposal to offer the agency for privatisation sale as a means to improve the state budget's bottom-line figures.

This was confirmed early last week, by WA's Racing and Gaming Minister Terry Waldron; but the minister stated that at the present stage, the decision to sell the agency is yet to be made. Minister Waldron was quoted as saying “I've said this in Parliament, that I would only support the sale of the TAB if it was in the best interests of the racing industry and the community to do so.”

The Liberal Government of West Australia is actually facing a stumbling block regarding its proposal to privatise TAB, because the WA Nationals, on whom the Liberals rely on to pass legislations, have expressed their disinclination toward such plans. Minister Waldron, who is himself a member of the National Party, has stated that if indeed a decision to sell has to be made, he would call for the necessary safeguards in order to meet the needs of the racing industry in going forward with the TAB privatisation plan.

Nationals MP Colin Holt believes that selling TAB is a dangerous idea because the state's racing industry is of massive importance to the regional communities and that there will be major repercussions if the TAB is sold. MP Holt said, “If we're going to commercialise the TAB then in my mind we're going to put the industry in regional WA at risk.”