Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens’ Spokesperson for Gambling
The Greens will move, in the new Parliament, for an Independent Commission of Inquiry to fully investigate the seedy history of the Federal Hotels monopoly deal, and the circumstances surrounding the extension of the Farrell family’s business into Launceston, and ultimately into pubs and clubs around the State.
The disinfectant of sunlight must be shone on this issue, as the Federal Hotels’ Monopoly Deed comes closer to expiring.
For forty years there have been huge question marks around the Federal Hotels Monopoly Deal. The same deal that saw the Farrell family have two casinos in Tasmania and own every poker machine in pubs and clubs across the State.
We heard explosive allegations of bribery and corruption on the national broadcaster last night, from the alleged former bag man who believes he may have delivered the briefcase to the then Deputy Premier of Tasmania, Kevin Lyons.
Mr Lyons days later resigned bringing down the minority Bethune Liberal Government at the time, which was moving towards not giving the tender for the Launceston Casino to the Farrell Family.
That incident is one of the most significant and darkest moments in Tasmania’s modern history, because the circumstances surrounding the extension of the casino into Launceston and the poker machine monopoly are still with us today.
The Greens sought to have the allegations surrounding Kevin Lyons’ resignation examined by the Joint Select Committee on Future Gaming in Tasmania, only to have it voted down by Liberal and Labor members.
While it’s encouraging to hear Labor Leader, Rebecca White, say she will support our push for an Independent Commission of Inquiry if Tasmania Police find any evidence, she should commit without qualification.
It is the party Ms White leads which is historically complicit in the 1972 scandal and the harm caused by pokies until very recently.
Labor should find the courage to support the Greens’ move in the next Parliament for an Independent Commission of Inquiry, so all Tasmanians can finally understand the dark history that led to 40 years of harm caused by poker machines.