10th of April 2011 Author: Johnny Karp
Budget deficit the reason for sale
According to the media reports in Tasmania, Australia, the state government is currently in another process of considering the sale of the Tote, mostly due to an increased budget deficit.
The Tasmanian parliament learned from Acting Treasurer Bryan Green this week that 'the government had no intention of repealing the legislation that enables it to sell the gambling business because of budget concerns.'
The previous attempt to sell the Tote, which took place three years ago, failed due to the global economic crisis, which caused an additional cost of A$ 3 million to the state coffers. Prior to this latest consideration of the sale, back in November, the government assured the public that it intends to keep the company in public hands,
adding that it would seek to rescind the legislation. However, the plans to keep the Tote failed due to the state's current financial crisis, specified Green.
"In the current fiscal environment, the government needs to maintain maximum flexibility; that is true with respect to the ownership options for Tote," he said.
"We can say on the public record that we do not intend to repeal the Tote Tasmania Act 2009 at this stage. We need to maintain maximum flexibility."
On the other side of this move stands the opposition, which claims this intention to sell the Tote is like "selling the family silver to balance the books."
According to spokesman Peter Gutwein, "The racing industry and the Tasmanian people are rapidly losing patience with the government's lack of honesty about the future of Tote."
It has been assessed that the Tote could be sold for anywhere between A$100 million and A$400 million.
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