Budget benefits bush pubs

IN small country pubs like the Coramba Hotel, poker machines are said to be more of a bar room novelty than a licence to print money.

A small percentage of the $70,000 put through the pub’s five pokies each year is even used to support local sporting clubs.

Up until now, the State Government has also prospered from the machines, taking a 15 per cent cut of the annual revenue in taxes.

But all that is set to change, under a tax cut announced in last night’s budget for 430 hotels making less than $200,000 from poker machines.

“Any tax break is a good thing,” The Coramba Hotel’s Nicholas Wright said.

“We donate a percentage of our poker machine revenue to local clubs like the Orara Valley Axemen and the local soccer team, the Orara Valley Dingoes.

“This tax cut should allow us to invest more of the profits back into the hotel, maybe it could be used for projects we are planning like installing solar power here at the pub.”

The $563 million tax-free threshold has come about through a deal struck with the Australian Hotels Association.

Read more on the budget: No justice for Coffs in budget



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