Image for Booth’s Tote question: Was it an under-the-carpet sale?

A parliamentary inquiry has heard the State Government is once again looking to sell the state-owned betting agency TOTE Tasmania.

A select committee being chaired by Greens MP Kim Booth has begun hearing evidence into the abandoned sale of TOTE in 2009.

Treasury secretary Martin Wallace said despite four bids, the Government took TOTE off the market because it did not receive an acceptable offer.

But Mr Wallace says due to a significant reduction in the betting agency’s profits, Treasury began an unsolicited interest process in September to test whether there are any firm offers now.

He said the Treasurer, Lara Giddings, approved the recruitment of advisors to have talks with a number of interested parties.

In May, the Government blocked the Liberal TOTE repeal bill saying it wanted to keep its options open.

Mr Booth questioned whether it was an “under-the-carpet” sale.

Mr Wallace insisted it was not and stressed TOTE was not officially back on the market.