Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania



6 August 2020

Jane Howlett, Minister for Racing

Labor still politicising a pandemic

It is reprehensible that David O’Byrne is still trying to politicise the COVID-19 pandemic at every opportunity.

The decision by the Government to shut down racing in Tasmania was not one that was taken lightly.

It was done on the advice of Public Health at a time when stringent restrictions were imposed to limit movement across the state. We have continued to take the advice of Public Health for all decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has helped to keep our state safe.

Is Mr O’Byrne so reckless that he would have ignored Public Health advice?

The Government has worked closely with Tasracing and industry participants during and following the shutdown to provide assistance.

This included a support package to trainers of more than $4 million.

In addition, since the re-opening of racing, we have announced $660,000 in extra prizemoney for Tasmanian racing, which is the best way to support industry participants.

We expect to make an announcement on further funding for all three racing codes over coming weeks.

David O’Byrne knows the racing sector will never forget it was Labor which botched the sale of the industry's main source of revenue, TOTE Tasmania, when last in Government and then established a completely unsustainable model to finance racing.

Mr O’Byrne can snipe all he wants from the sidelines. It is time he provided positive ideas rather than yet more criticism.



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