Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 10.54.29 amThe Belmont Racing Industry and the historic Ascot Racecourse are under threat, according to Cassie Rowe, President of the Belmont Community Group.

The State Government’s plans to privatise the TAB will have a devastating effect on Belmont Racing and concerns about its sale have been raised by many stakeholders throughout the industry.

“As President of BCG I am passionate about engaging with the local community to ensure support for a vibrant racing industry,” said Cassie Rowe.

“The Belmont Community Group is campaigning to stop the privatisation of the TAB, which would kill off the local industry.”

“The sale of the WA TAB, which has a potential sale value of $1 billion and pays $120 million to the racing industry annually, would undoubtedly have an adverse effect upon racing in Belmont and in Perth more generally.”

History has shown the privatisation of TABs to be significantly detrimental to local racing industries. In a speech to Racing Victoria on 18 August, the Honourable Jeff Kennett conceded that his decision as Premier to privatise the Victorian TAB in 1994 was harmful to racing.

“A further hurdle for the local industry is the prospect of a forced council merger between Belmont and Kalamunda which could jeopardise the unique residential and stables area around the Ascot Racecourse.”

“If the forced merger between Belmont and Kalamunda goes ahead the racing industry’s traditional relationship with the City of Belmont will come under pressure in this greatly expanded municipality,” said Cassie Rowe.

“Racing is an integral part of Belmont’s community identity and has been conducted at Ascot since 1848. To lose it would be a tragedy not only for those who work in the industry, but for everyone in our community,” said Belmont Community Group Executive Member and Vice President of the W.A. Racing Trainers Association, John Lugg.