From ‘Team Mulawa’ here: “Greg Farrell Jr, “Mr. Mulawa”: Greg is by nature very hands-on – activity done translates into learning and understanding – and he still applies this essential quality to the horses with ambitious zeal and earnest dedication. Greg is a natural horseman – his innate affection for and confident ease with horses is readily apparent in his daily interaction with the horses at every level. Although Greg’s primary vocational responsibility has always been Managing Director of Federal Group (the highly successful and widely respected Australian owned family business and the world’s second oldest hotel group), he always finds quality time for the horses. He remains integrally involved with all the handling and training of the Mulawa Arabians, from early breaking through the professional turn out of top level show ring performers in hand. (Pictured with ADVENT) “

Greg Farrell, Federal Group MD

*Pic: The skilful punter … David Walsh

Greg Farrell is at pains to emphasise Federal Group’s contribution to the Tasmanian economy.

His desperation is starting to show.

He was reported ( here ) as telling staff at a recent Xmas function that “overall, payments from our company account for eight percent of all State Government revenue. These payments have allowed Tasmanian Governments over that period to invest in major services for the Tasmanian community such as hospitals, schools and roads.”

When you’ve got a captive audience and you’re supplying free grog, you can get away with anything.

The figure’s not 8%. It’s closer to 1%.

State Government revenue last year was just over $5 billion. 8% is about $400 million.

Federal Hotels contributed $57 million in casino tax and license fees and maybe $8 million in payroll tax. That is only $65 million or just over 1% of State government revenue for 2014/15, not 8%.

Mr Farrell took the opportunity of a staff Xmas party to “address some of the things that have been said about the Federal Group in recent weeks”. He’s presumably referring to the unexpected opposition that has become apparent with the public release of Federal’s effort to extend its exclusive licenses, which he passes off as a “ small group of people (using) this as an opportunity to spread a number of untruths”.

Mr Farrell addressing the faithful said “Since the last Deed commenced in 2003 I thought that it would be interesting to calculate a few numbers, and I can confirm that we needed a big calculator. Since July 2003 Federal Group has paid the Tasmanian Government over one billion dollars in taxes and licence fees.

A couple of points:

• You don’t need a big calculator Greg, just one that works.

• Secondly Federal Hotels is simply a tax collector not a benefactor. No different to companies which collect and remit GST. It’s a bit rich to expect the remittance of amounts due as deserving of public acclaim.

Mr Farrell acknowledges that social and economic harm flows from his Group activities but then tries to lessen the guilt by asserting that the costs are lower than those produced by alcohol, tobacco and obesity.

Federal Hotels’ justifications are sounding increasingly ridiculous.

First published on John Lawrence’s Tasfintalk blog, HERE

Michael Atkin, ABC 7.30: MONA founder David Walsh lashes powerful Farrell family with monopoly on Tasmania’s pokies MONA founder and professional gambler David Walsh has lashed out at one of Australia’s richest families for attempting to use him to extend its poker machine monopoly indefinitely. The Farrell family run Tasmania’s two casinos and have owned the gambling license monopoly for decades, including every poker machine in the state. The licence was extended for 20 years in 2003 following secret negotiations with the then Labor state government. The monopoly has seen the Farrell’s personal wealth skyrocket to an estimated $463 million …

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times …

How to benefit from Tassie’s tourism boom but not bugger up what tourists came for. Pokies blackmail

All bets are off if deals lost. Greg Farrell puts heat on Libs … will they buckle … ?

Ka-Ching: pokies documentary reveals what makes the machines so addictive

Tasmania’s Farrell family moves up in Australia’s rich list

Mercury Exclusive first look: Hobart’s newest high-end hotel revealed

Whatever the truth of Garrett’s story, it’s about gambling industry politics & influence

Wilkie: A statement regarding the possible bribery of politicians

JAMES BOYCE: The Tasmanian Politician and the powerful will of Mr Farrell

Cassy O’Connor: Premier Refuses Monopoly Deed Public Process

• John Lawrence in Comments: Gosh, Pete (#3) you were right, he sounded like a Resources Minister. I just listened to the replay. I lost count of the number of times the words ‘transformational change’ was used, which I gather is a term used to describe capital upgrades deferred so as to qualify for government handouts. Leon was good but it was a little like spearing goldfish in a bowl. However he should’ve asked why shareholders don’t simply recontribute some of the $160 million in dividends they’ve extracted over the last 10 years. The thing about the Port Arthur development that is overlooked is that the government has just spent mega-millions on the Three Capes walk to attract high-spending patrons to the area, yet the Fed Hot boys want more assistance to build an accommodation place nearby. For anyone interested in Leon’s interview it’s at the 5 min mark HERE