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Labor Caves on Pokies Policy

8 Feb 2019

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader

Former Labor fixer, Graham Richardson, would be proud of State Labor Leader, Rebecca White, today.

The man who coined the phrase, “Whatever it takes” must be pleased it’s still Labor’s political mantra in Tasmania.

Rebecca White has caved in to pressure from her State and Federal colleagues, making it clear on ABC radio today that her party has abandoned its policy on the removal of poker machines from pubs and clubs.

What Ms White is saying is that, if the Liberals do exactly what they said they’d do before and after the March 2018 election, Labor won’t put up a fight.

This is a betrayal of every Tasmanian who voted for Labor on the basis of a position of principle.

It’s a betrayal of those disadvantaged individuals, families and communities harmed by poker machines in pubs and clubs.

It’s a betrayal of the community sector who has campaigned so hard for the removal of pokies from pubs and clubs, and backed in Labor’s position last March.

Ms White knows full well no Parliament can bind a future Parliament.

She should know the gambling industry won’t be able to cry ‘sovereign risk’ if Labor sticks to its position of principle if it wins government in 2022.

This is a cop out of the highest order.

Federally, the Labor Party accepted more than $750 million from gambling interests in the past year.

That investment is paying off, with Tasmanian Labor now literally bought back in to line as a well fed lap dog of the gambling industry.