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Pokies Deed Corruption Allegations Must be Heard by Parliamentary Inquiry

Andrea Dawkins

Andrea Dawkins  -  Monday, 8 May 2017

Tags: Pokies, Corruption, Political Donations

Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens' Gaming spokesperson

The Greens welcome news that Tasmania Police have agreed to review their investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption following the fall of the Liberal Bethune Government in 1972 and the subsequent Labor Government’s granting of the of the Launceston casino licence to the Farrell family, which led to their pokies monopoly deed.  

This is an arrangement that began in the 70’s and has led to the destruction of families, and lives, in the decades since.

As the Greens’ representative on the Parliamentary Inquiry into Future Gaming Markets, I requested the Committee write to the Police Commissioner and ask him to give evidence about the Bethune Government file. Unfortunately, no other Member of the Committee supported my request when put to a vote.

If we are to have a functioning democracy, allegations of corruption must be always investigated. I have once again written to members of the Joint Select Committee asking them to consider these allegations again in light of Tasmania Police’s impending review.

Tasmanians need to know if the allegations of bribery and corruption arising from the 1973 deal have any basis in fact. With the monopoly deed about to be renegotiated, the Parliamentary Inquiry must consider its roots, and the harm it has caused to the community.

In the lead up to previous State elections, both the Labor and Liberal parties have accepted significant donations from Federal Hotels. 

This coming State election, the monopoly deed up for is up for negotiation, and there is no mandate to extend. The Greens once again call on the Labor and the Liberals to refuse donations from Federal Hotels until the future of the deed has been decided, by the peoples’ will at the next election.

Dr James Boyce’s book, The Losing Streak, brought to light, once again, how Tasmanians have been held over a barrel by deeply vested interests for more than three decades.  This is an arrangement that was designed to harm vulnerable Tasmanians, and benefit the Farrell family.

We thank Dr Boyce for bringing the question of corruption surrounding the deed to the fore, and look forward to the outcome of Tasmania Police’s decision to review their file.