Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens' Gambling spokesperson
In an ominous sign for Tasmanians affected by problem gambling, both the Premier and the Treasurer delivered a disappointing and underwhelming response to questions on the future of the Federal gambling monopoly in Budget Estimates today.
The responses from the Premier and Treasurer today were telling. What seems obvious is that they don’t want to change the status quo, they don’t want to talk about the harm caused to community and they certainly don't want to refuse political donations made by the Farrell family.
At the same time the Premier was suggesting the use of poker machines is an individual choice, the Treasurer was dodging questions about substantial changes to the status quo, hiding behind 'sovereign risk'.
It is appalling that the Tasmanian Premier doesn't seem to understand that the machines are designed to create addiction and that this addiction, often combined with mental health challenges, hampers a person's ability to make an informed, sensible choice.
It seems like the Hodgman Government is more attuned to the ability of a wealthy corporation to continue to massively profit over and above the profound harms caused by poker machines.
That neither the Premier or Treasurer would confirm the Liberals would refuse any donation from Federal Hotels, or further tax revenue from pokies, says more than their silence.