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Crucial Questions Missing from Pokies Inquiry

Andrea Dawkins

Andrea Dawkins  -  Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Tags: Gambling Industry, Pokies

Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens Gambling spokesperson

The Treasurer's Terms of Reference for the Joint Select Committee on gambling read more like a tax-payer funded focus group than open, public consultation on one of our most serious community issues.

Clearly, the Liberals have finally noticed the level of concern in the community about the impact of pokies on disadvantaged Tasmanians. But their Terms of Reference fail to take into account removing machines from the suburbs.

The Treasurer's guiding principles are a request for the community to make comment on their policy, rather than being a proper open, consultation process.

The Terms of Reference ask Tasmanians to comment on the Liberals' gambling policy, which would see poker machines stay in our pubs and clubs.

There is no mention of location, type and design of poker machines in the Treasurer's Terms of Reference. The government should be asking Tasmanians what their views on poker machines are and whether they want them in their community.

Nowhere is it acknowledged that 80% of Tasmanians want these insidious machines out of our pubs and clubs.

We will use our Private Member's Time today to move to expand the terms of reference and represent the four out of five Tasmanians who want the number of pokies reduced or removed entirely from the suburbs.*

The government must allow this once in a generation public consultation to address the type, design, number and location of poker machines in our communities. Without this, it's little more than a focus group on Liberal gambling policy.