Betting firm pays for meeting
Betting firm pays for meeting

Queensland-based gambling company Tatts Group paid thousands of dollars to the WA Liberal Party to secure a meeting with Colin Barnett and his Cabinet.

The meeting, at the Liberal Party's State Conference last weekend, comes as the Government weighs up the possible sale of the Government-owned TAB.

Tatts Group owns the Queensland, South Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania TABs and runs lotteries in several States. It is considered a likely bidder for WA TAB if it is for sale and is understood to have a keen interest in Lotterywest.

Mr Barnett's office yesterday confirmed the meeting but did not answer questions about whether the WA TAB or Lotterywest were discussed.

"The Premier and members of Cabinet attended a business observers program as part of the State Conference of the Liberal Party," Mr Barnett's spokeswoman said. "A number of boardroom presentations were made by participating companies, including Tatts Group."

Mr Barnett's office and Liberal State director Ben Morton refused to say how much Tatts Group had paid but a Liberal source said it was five figures.

"The Liberal Party, like other political parties, run business engagement programs as part of their State conferences and State Council meetings," Mr Morton said.

In 2012, _The West Australian _revealed the existence of the Liberal Party Leaders Forum, where up to 30 businessmen, property developers and firms paid $25,000 a year for access to the Premier and ministers by way of meetings.

Labor government accountability spokeswoman Rita Saffioti said the Government had promised not to sell the TAB and it was "alarming to learn that they are now courting potential buyers".

A spokesperson for Tatts Group said: "As a national company, we welcome the opportunity to engage with political parties and racing industry participants across the country."

The West Australian

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