Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan has called for the gaming tax to be waived. Picture: Tony Martin
Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan has called for the gaming tax to be waived. Picture: Tony Martin

Gaming tax should be waived, says Whitsunday MP

A CALL has been made to waive the gaming tax for clubs and pubs to help Whitsunday businesses who are battling through the coronavirus crisis.

Member for Whitsunday and NQ First Leader Jason Costigan has called on the Palaszczuk Labor Government to do more than ‘defer’ the gaming tax and Jubilee Tavern manager Craig Bradley has backed the push, saying it would put businesses in a better position to pay suppliers.

“Clubs and pubs need certainty like any business or household and when it comes to the State Government’s gaming tax, deferring the payment, as announced, is just not good enough,” Mr Costigan said.

“Hotel and club managers are telling me that at the very least, the government should be waiving the payment of gaming tax for the month of March when their world caved in, prompting the various economic stimulus packages across the country.

“For clubs and pubs in my electorate, especially those in the tourist town of Airlie Beach, the immediate future looks very bleak.

“If the government is serious about getting these people back on their feet, they must do a whole lot better than announcing the deferral of gaming tax to be paid, especially knowing that normal trading is still a very long way off.”

Jubilee Tavern manager Craig Bradley said he agreed with Mr Costigan’s campaign to get a better deal from the State Government.

“By having the payment of that tax waived, even for March, you put yourself in a far better position to pay your suppliers,” Mr Bradley said.

“I would have thought that such an outcome does so much more in rebuilding the local economy than delaying the payment of gaming tax at a time when our traditional customer base has all but dried up.”

Mr Costigan said the role that clubs and pubs in North, Far North and Central Queensland played in supporting local communities could not be stressed enough.

“Without these establishments, we would have a whole range of community and sporting groups going without,” he said.

“It’s these clubs and pubs, the further north and west you go, which support the local footy club, the local school P&C and on it goes.

“That in itself should make the State Government wake up from its slumber and do more to help in this time of crisis as we all deal with the economic implications of COVID-19.”