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Gambling Inquiry Must Answer Real Question
Media Release - Monday, 4 April 2016
Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader
The Tasmanian Greens will move in Parliament this week to ensure the once in a generation Joint Select Inquiry in to gambling and the Federal monopoly Deed also addresses the question of whether we should have poker machines in pubs and clubs at all.
The Liberal government is working hard to deny Tasmanians the chance to express their strong views about the proliferation of pokies in pubs and clubs, proposing a Terms of Reference to the Inquiry that does not ask this question.
We know Tasmanians want to have a say on the number, type, design and location of poker machines in Tasmania.
We know Tasmanians are concerned about the social harms caused by problem gambling, the effect on individuals, families and communities.
The Liberals know this too but they are content to ignore this strongly felt community concern and instead listen to those who profit most from pokies in our community.
The Greens are determined not to let the government deny Tasmanians this once in a generation chance to have their say on pokies.
We will be moving in Parliament this week to amend the ToR so that the first question to be asked is of Tasmanians, and whether or not they believe the current arrangement is acceptable.
Opinion polls are very clear – more than 80% of Tasmanians surveyed want pokies out of pubs and clubs.
Members of Parliament are elected to represent, responsibly, their communities. On pokies, the Liberals are failing to represent Tasmanians.
Mr Gutwein and his Cabinet colleagues cannot ignore the strong community feeling against pokies. We will give them an opportunity to explain why they are ignoring the weight of public opinion against the proliferation of pokies in Tasmania in Parliament this week.