Clubs expecting tax hike

By ED SOUTHORN

NSW registered clubs are not expecting any backdown soon from the NSW Government on poker machine tax increases, despite unveiling a self-regulation management code for clubs at Club Banora yesterday.

The new code includes executive remuneration, overseas travel, major capital works, elections to club boards, accounting standards and tendering.

Clubs NSW chief executive David Costello told the Daily News the code covering nine "systematic problem areas" - five more than recommended by the Government - acknowledged that clubs and the Government had fallen behind community expectations of good corporate governance for clubs.

The self-regulation code is effective from July 1 next year, with independent monitoring and financial penalties.

Mr Costello said he hoped clubs and the Government could reach a fair compromise in reforming the new tax scales introduced last month in which the biggest clubs will pay 49 per cent revenue tax by 2011, otherwise up to 24,000 full-time equivalent jobs could be lost over the next seven years.

Already about 1500 jobs had been lost from clubs through natural attrition due to the new tax, he said.

But he does not expect any tax changes soon from the Government.

"Some clubs have in the past few years unintentionally failed to live up to community expectations in the way they run their business," Mr Costello said in a statement.

More than 2500 delegates, partners and sponsors representing more than 600 clubs are at Tweed Heads for the Clubs NSW annual conference.

A successor to Clubs NSW chairman Pat Rogan, who is retiring, will be cho- sen tomorrow.



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