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ASBA's Submission to proposed stallion levy.



27th May 2021

Mr A Kelly

Chief Executive Officer

Harness Racing Australia

Level 1, 490 Epsom Rd , Flemington.  Vic 3031


Dear Andrew,


On behalf of ASBA [ Australian Standardbred Breeders Association] we wish to submit the following on the subject of the HRA Proposal to introduce a 15% Levy / Tax on non-Australian resident Stallions.

As you are aware ASBA consists of representatives from the six Australian State Breeding Bodies.   Each of these Breeding Bodies have submitted their thoughts on the HRA Proposal and each of them have condemned the Proposal in the strongest of terms.

  ASBA fully endorses these various submissions and seeks common sense to prevail in having the Proposal completely overturned.

There are a multitude of reasons why this Proposal should not proceed and we present just a few of them.

  1. For the first time in maybe fifteen years or more the number of mares bred in Australia in a season has shown an increase.  In addition, the various Yearling Sales in each State have been the most successful in terms of Turnover and Clearance Rates for a number of years, in fact possibly the best on record.  The positivity currently prevailing in the Breeding Industry, based on these facts, will quickly turn sour if this HRA Proposal proceeds.

  2. It is naïve to think that the overseas Owners of the Stallions targeted by this Proposal will pay the 15% Levy so if it proceeds there is no doubt that the Broodmare Owners of Australia will be left responsible for the payment of the Levy.  The Australian Breeding Farms that market the semen for the targeted Stallions have already declared that this Proposed Levy will be added to the Service Fees in one form or another.

  3. The breeding of Trotters in Australia has improved out of sight over the past ten years.  This massive leap in quality of our Trotters is directly linked to the importation of either North American or European trotting blood -  either in the flesh or more likely via Frozen Semen.   Once again if the Levy proceeds it will have a negative impact on the owners of Trotting broodmares and their decision making when approaching a new Breeding season.

  4. Most or all of the Farms in Australia who market the Semen of these targeted Stallions also pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into Sponsorship deals with Harness Racing Clubs and Associations and Charities throughout Australia.  There is every likelihood that many of those Sponsorship dollars will be withdrawn from Harness Racing revenue and could also have a flow on effect to other Business’s who sympathise with Stallion or Broodmare owners should this HRA Proposal proceed.

In summary ASBA agrees wholeheartedly with Submissions you have already received from Breeding Bodies in the six States of Australia.  It is estimated that the vast majority of Harness Racing Breeders in Australia are opposed to the Proposal.

We urge HRA to follow the Rules of a Democratic Country and heed to the thoughts of the vast majority.

Yours Sincerely,


John Coffey [ President ]              Gary Newton  [ Secretary ].

Australian Standardbred Breeders Association

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State responses to 15% levy.                           Click button to read PDF