Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens Gaming spokesperson
The Liberals' complete lack of leadership and courage was on show in Parliament today. Treasurer Gutwein squibbed his responsibility to protect Tasmanians from the harm caused by pokes, missing the opportunity for once in a generation reform.
Treasurer Gutwein delivered a sham of a policy on pokies, ignoring the community's clear wish that these machines be wound back from pubs and clubs in Tasmania.
He has also ignored the concerns of social welfare organisations like Anglicare and TasCOSS who see first-hand the grim reality of problem gambling.
The Liberals want praise for reducing the number of poker machines by 150, but that's 150 machines that don't even exist today. There are 3,530 machines concentrated in areas of disadvantage across our community today, and there will be the same number when the Liberals go to the next election.
Close to $200M came out of the pockets of Tasmanians who can least afford to lose money last year. The Liberals clearly believe that the massive $200M coming from our poorest communities is an acceptable loss.
The only actual opportunity the Treasurer's announcement presented is a forum for the public to be heard, during their "consultation". But that's consultation after they have placed their so-called 'cap' on poker machines and told gaming machine operators they will not be left any worse off under the Liberals.
We know the unhappiness within our community will be heard loud and clear through the consultation process. It is, after all, the strong public pressure which has been the catalyst for any action at all from the Liberals.
Today we saw what the Liberals are really made of, and again, it's all spin, no substance.