Newsagents to bid for Lotteries as sale talks stall

TALKS between the State Government and newsagents over the sale of NSW Lotteries have broken down and relations have become acrimonious following a decision by the agents to bid for the asset.The Newsagents Association of NSW and the ACT had been pressuring the Government to introduce onerous conditions on the sale that would protect newsagents for up to six years.But this week the association told the Government it was planning to enter a consortium to bid for the lotteries, leaving it open to the claim that by pushing for conditions on the purchaser, it could have been driving down the sale price for its own benefit.The sale is expected to fetch more than $500 million.”The NSW Government will no longer discuss with [the association] potential legislative amendments or licence conditions given probity requirements and the need to ensure a fair process for all bidders,” the Treasurer, Eric Roozendaal, informed the association yesterday in a letter obtained by the Herald.In a surprise move this week, the association told the Government it was launching a consortium of all newsagents to bid for NSW Lotteries, arguing that maintaining present resale arrangements for lottery products ”is in the best interests of the people of NSW”.In meetings with some MPs this week, the association said the sale proposal and the associated regulations would not provide sufficient protection for the viability of many newsagents.”Our consortium represents all NSW Lotteries agents and enshrines the role of small businesses being the provider of lotteries products and services in NSW,” it said in a briefing note given to the MPs.The Government receives about $350 million a year in royalties and taxes from NSW Lotteries. This is forecast to fall by about $50 million a year following the sale.The State Opposition put its weight behind the lotteries sale last year, but it is now opposing the privatisation and claiming that newsagents need greater protection.

Nanjing Night Net


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