CLUBS NSW president Peter Newell.
CLUBS NSW president Peter Newell.

Clubs boss confident of resolution

CLUBSNSW president Peter Newell is optimistic a resolution on poker machine tax can be reached at a planned meeting with Premier Morris Iemma next month.

At their annual general meeting at Seagulls yesterday, it was reported that although no resolution had been reached with the government, the premier would like to meet with officials within the next month with a view to having the issue resolved before Christmas.

"We will take him at his word and I sincerely hope that a resolution can be worked out," Mr Newell said.

Mr Newell believes a resolution similar to the Coalition's plan can be reached, which could see clubs on the Tweed paying $24 million less in tax over the roll-out period than they would be under the current tax plan.

"We're very pleased that the Coalition has put a stake in the ground, and we're also pleased that Mr Iemma is a lot more receptive than previously, Bob Carr has been," Mr Newell said.

"Iemma has been closely allied with clubs for a long time and he knows what they are up to and I genuinely believe him when he says he wants to fix this."

NSW Minister for Gaming and Racing, Grant McBride addressed the conference outlining strategies for growth and of talking up the strength of the new government but offered "no reply" on the question of poker machine tax, a question that all his strategies are bridged on, said Mr Newell.

"All these things are all predicated on a resolution of the tax issue. If we don't resolve the tax issue, they just can't go forward because the industry will be in turmoil, half the clubs in NSW will be falling over, and there'll be 24,000 jobs lost," he said.

"But if tax is solved, all the other things can flow from that and I sincerely hope they do because it's in everybody's interest."

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