NSW CLUBS have attacked former Premier Bob Carr as ”the worst thing that ever happened to the club industry” after Mr Carr criticised the clubs for their successful campaign to wind back poker machine taxes.In a spirited criticism of Mr Carr’s remarks, contained in a new book detailing the clubs’ campaign to reduce the taxes, the chief executive of ClubsNSW, David Costello, said clubs and associated groups had lost more than 9000 jobs after his government increased the taxes in 2004.”During his time as leader of the government, 134 clubs closed, and another 79 were forced to amalgamate to remain open in some capacity,” he said. Mr Costello also attacked Betty Con Walker, the author of the book Casino Clubs NSW, as ”the leading consultant for hotels applying for more poker machines”, and therefore someone unlikely to write impartially about clubs.Launching the book yesterday, Mr Carr brushed aside Mr Costello’s claims his tax increases had cost jobs and said the reason some clubs were closing was due to changes in society and that people were choosing to go to restaurants and other venues.Ms Con Walker denied she was biased and said the only work she had done for the Australian Hotels Association was was nine years ago and ”some social impact assessment applications for individual hotels about eight years ago”.Matthew Moore
Nanjing Night Net

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