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Committee Should Investigate Pokies Plebiscite

Andrea Dawkins

Andrea Dawkins  -  Monday, 16 May 2016

Tags: Pokies, Gambling Industry

Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens Gambling spokesperson

Brighton Mayor, Tony Foster’s suggestion that we bring the question of poker machines in our pubs and clubs to a plebiscite highlights Tasmania's distaste for pokies.

Anglicare's polling shows that around 80% of Tasmanians want pokies out of our pubs and clubs. A courageous government would heed the public will to remove these machines that leech over $200M every year from Tasmanians.

There's serious community anxiety around the placement, number and design of pokies in our suburbs.

The Liberals refused to include any specific reference to these key concerns in the terms of reference for their Parliamentary Committee on Gambling. Mayor Foster is right when he says the government has moved to entrench the status quo.

It's time the Hodgman government listened to the people. We hope that the Select Committee is given the opportunity to investigate any legislative or administrative arrangements we would need for a plebiscite.

The Liberals know they have no mandate to continue letting pokies drain our suburbs dry. If the Committee finds that a plebiscite is not possible, each party must tell the people their plans for the monopoly Deed and take their gambling policy to the 2018 State election before acting on it.

If the Liberals truly wanted their 'brighter future' they would be listening to community groups at the front line of the human harm caused by pokies, and their constituents who are crying out for EGMs to be removed from pubs and clubs.