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THA is Wrong on Liquor and Gaming Commission

Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Sunday, 17 September 2017

Tags: Pokies, Tasmanian Hospitality Association, Federal Group

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens' Leader

Calls by Tasmanian Hospitality Association spokesperson, Steve Old, to abolish the independent Liquor and Gaming Commission are deeply concerning.

The history of political donations and cosy dealings tells us the Liberals and Labor are squarely in the pocket of Federal Group, making an independent regulatory body for alcohol and gambling absolutely essential. 

Federal Group owns the 9/11 bottle shop chain which is facing stiff competition from Woolworths-owned, Dan Murphy’s.

While it's essential the public has a say on liquor licensing in their community, Mr Old's criticism of the Commission for not holding public hearings is hypocritical in the extreme. 

He has been working behind closed doors to stitch up a deal between Federal Group and the Tasmanian Hospitality Association to keep poker machines in pubs and clubs at enormous social and economic cost.

In working with former Labor Premier, Paul Lennon, to lock in Federals' profits, we don't believe Mr Old is representing the views of THA members. 

75 hospitality and business owners signed an open letter to both major parties this week, calling for the removal of poker machines from pubs and clubs.

If Mr Old is serious about protecting the community interest, he should be advocating for a stronger liquor and licensing framework, not a weaker one.