Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Treasury spokesperson
Federal Hotels' pitch to link a $100M refurbishment of their properties to an extension of the pokies monopoly deed is an unashamed attempt to hold the state to ransom.
The proposal might look nice, but it shouldn't hang on the extension of the monopoly Deed that has caused so much suffering in Tasmania for decades.
Tasmanians lose about $100M every six months on poker machines. That comes out of the pockets of some of our most disadvantaged people in our most disadvantaged areas.
The Farrell family are on the BRW Rich List, with an estimated wealth of over $450M. They can afford to do the refurbishment without seeking to effectively blackmail the government and people of Tasmania into prolonging the misery of the monopoly deal.
If this refurbishment goes ahead under these terms, it will be paid for by some of the lowest income Tasmanians.
The Hodgman government has no mandate to extend the Deed and needs to take it to the people at the next state election in 2018.
The Liberals should break with longstanding political practice in Tasmania and call the Farrell family's bluff in the public interest.