Tony McEvoy is building a 100 box complex in Ballarat, but assures the Barossa is home and McEvoy Mitchell Racing will remain in Angaston.
Tony made the call to move part of his business to Victoria (a decision he is still committed to) before the State Budget announcement of $24 million to the racing industry.
Tony explained that they weren’t asking for a handout, just some of the money they were generating for the government back.
Without that, and a 15 percent tax rate, it was making them cash poor and racing couldn’t run its business.
“Our stake money was getting further behind the other states. The biggest problem for me is my customers were starting to question why they’ve got horses with me in SA. It was directly starting to affect my business,” he said.
“With the money the government have come out with, it’s a definite help – but it’s not going to fix our problems.”
Tony’s passion for racing in SA is strong, having ‘cut his teeth’ on the business’s property as a child.
“I’m not going to completely re-locate because I am a South Australian. But I will reduce my business here,” said Tony.
“This property is very dear to me and I need a focus in SA. But if I don’t listen to my customers I won’t have a business and I won’t let that happen.”
However, this means horses at the Angaston site will reduce by 50 percent. The move to Ballarat could also cost up to 30 jobs here in SA.
“Now that’s sad. And I haven’t done that because I want to do that, my hand’s been forced to do that,” said Tony.
“Clearly any of my staff here will get that opportunity to go to Ballarat. I would love to take them with me, but do they want to re-locate? They’ve got family, friends – it’s not that easy, but I will take everyone who wants to come with me.”
For more of the story, read the July 10 edition of The Leader.