Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens' Gambling spokesperson
World Vision Australia's Rev. Tim Costello, admired and respected by many Liberal MPs, has openly named the pokies industry as a powerful vested interest, which runs government gambling policy across Australia. He has condemned the backroom deals done with Federal Group at public expense.
Rev. Costello’s comments echo those of the Tasmanian community, 80% of whom support the removal of pokies from pubs and clubs.
When pressed on Rev. Costello’s comments that "if democracy works as it’s meant to, Tasmania can become a beacon of compassion and hope for the nation”, the Premier clung to the Liberals' proposed pokies cap - currently at saturation point - as a mark of community leadership.
The Premier restated the Liberals’ plan to wait and see the final recommendations of the conservative-dominated Parliamentary Inquiry into Future Gaming Markets.
While the Liberals seem to hope tinkering around the edges will fool Tasmanians on pokies, the Labor Opposition is deathly silent.
Both the old parties are complicit in the social misery that the Federal monopoly has inflicted on Tasmania for decades.
The Premier claimed he would listen to everyone when it came to their pokies policy. We hope that’s true, and it’s not just the voices of the Farrell family who get a say, as usual.
We sincerely hope both the Liberals and Labor find the courage to face up to this industry and represent the 80% of Tasmanians that want an end to the Federal Deed and pokies removed from pubs and clubs.
Rev. Costello is in Hobart today with author, James Boyce to discuss the harm caused by pokies in our community with Members of Parliament. We hope both Liberal and Labor Members make the time to attend the lunch-time briefing.