Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader
After leeching hundreds of millions of dollars out of the pockets of some of Tasmania’s poorest people, the Farrell family is now bleating about the pending expiry of its Monopoly Deed in 2023.
Their shameless greed is breathtaking. They are in no position to make demands.
The Federal Group and the Farrell’s company, Mulawa Holdings, have known the end of the Deed was coming since the day it was extended, after secret negotiations, by the Bacon Labor Government in 2003.
The argument for another three years of monopoly operation because the company hasn’t received sufficient notice just doesn’t stand up.
At Budget Estimates in 2018, the Greens questioned the Treasurer, now Premier, about the notice period provided to Federal Hotels. We did so to try to lift the veil of secrecy over negotiations between Mr Gutwein and his colleagues over how the quid pro quo would work following the shamefully corrupted 2018 State election campaign.
At the time, there was a live question about the notice period given to Federal Group about the monopoly deed they have been predating under, and profiting from, for decades.
Mr Gutwein said at the time, “I haven't written to them. You are under the erroneous assumption that I needed to take some action by 30 June this year. I will point you to the ministerial statement that I made on 17 March. The point I made was that -
'Under the deed that if no action is taken by the minister responsible for the Gaming and Control Act currently the Treasurer before 30 June 2019, the period of exclusivity under the deed will extend by one year to 30 June 2024.
In terms of ending the deed that needs to occur in the coming financial year by 30 June 2019. There is no need to write to Federal to inform them that the deed is ending at this point in time. I will take the appropriate action in the coming financial year in the time frame that is allowed”.
The Liberals’ new legislation, due to come before Parliament in October this year, will revoke the Federal Deed, and, if passed, deliver an individual venue licensing model which has no end date and will lead to untold human harm over generations.
The Farrells are one of Australia’s richest families because Liberal and Labor governments have let them milk the poor for fifty years.
The Federal Group own a significant number of venues and machines, and will continue to profit massively following the end of the Deed. They’ve also just been offered a sweet casino pokies tax rate by the Gutwein Government; a deal that will cost the Tasmanian budget dearly in revenue forgone.
It’s a bit rich, but completely unsurprising, for the Farrell family to cry poor. They’ve known this date was coming for twenty years.