A series of reports on the significance of the racing industry in Australia and the various States and Territories was released today.
The reports, prepared for the Racing Ministers' Conference by ACIL Australia, were part of a major study into the economic contribution of the racing industry.
Racing and Gaming Minister Pam Beggs said today that for the first time the size and worth of the industry had been established independently.
"The reports reveal the three racing codes - gallops, pacing and greyhounds - collectively are a major industry which has a significant impact on the national and State economy," Mrs Beggs said.
Nationally the industry contributes about $2.4 billion a year to Australia's gross domestic product. Direct employment involves about 132,000 people which is equal to about 40,000 full-time jobs.
There is also additional employment in ancillary activities such as accountants, solicitors, transporters, food suppliers, saddlers and so on.
Mrs Beggs said in Western Australia, the industry directly contributed $177 million to the State's gross domestic product and provided full and part-time jobs for about 11,400 people.
The report had compared this level with several other industries and found it was comparable to the contribution of the railways, but far greater than most manufacturing sectors, including basic iron and steel.
However, it was markedly smaller than the wheat-sheep and high rainfall agriculture sectors and the fishing/hunting industries.
It said the combined direct and indirect impact on the State's gross domestic product was $422 million, providing direct and indirect employment on a full and part-time basis for 28,325 people.
Mrs Beggs said copies of the report would be sent to racing industry organisations. Other copies would be available through the Office of Racing and Gaming at the Hyatt Centre, Adelaide Terrace, Perth.