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Gaming Control Amendment (Future Gaming Market) Bill 2021

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Tags: Gambling Industry, Pokies, Legislation

Ms O'CONNOR (Clark - Leader of the Greens) - Mr Deputy Speaker, what this House has done tonight is pass legislation that will consign generations of Tasmanians to poverty, despair, homelessness, depression, addiction, child abuse and neglect, family violence and, as we know, suicide. Gambling addiction destroys lives. Every member of this House knows that very well.

As I said in debate the other day, if this was a conscience vote the legislation would not pass. If this was a vote that was uncorrupted by the gambling industry this legislation would not exist, let alone pass. What this legislation does is embed poker machines and new forms of gambling in pubs and clubs across Tasmania forever.

It removes from the legislation important provisions around the CSL, it completely ignores harm minimisation. We are not satisfied with the minister's platitudes about harm minimisation, facial recognition technology, pre commitment and card based play are not sufficient to save lives. Both the Liberal and Labor parties in this place know that very well.

This House, collectively, with the exception of Dr Woodruff, Ms Johnston and I, should hang its head in shame. Every member of this place, apart from three honest women in here, has acted against the public interest, has acted against the commitments we make when we are elected and we come in here and we swear to uphold ethical standards and work in the public interest. Twenty two members of this place have failed to do that. This legislation will kill people. This legislation will lead to children going without. That is what this legislation will do.

We are here because of the utterly corrupting influence of the gambling industry on the body politic of Tasmania for the past 50 years - a gambling industry that got a sweet deal in 1993 from a Liberal government; a sweet deal extension in 2003 from a Labor government; that bought an election in 2018; bought a government, bought a policy, and then bankrolled both the Liberal and Labor parties at this year's election.

I know the minister does not like hearing this - by definition that is institutional corruption. It is when there is an unhealthy relationship between institutions and vested interests. In this case, on this legislation, it is a parasitic and symbiotic relationship. The gambling industry preys on the people of Tasmania and on democracy, and there is a toxic, symbiotic relationship between the old parties in this place and the gambling industry and the Federal Group.

By definition, what we have witnessed here over the many hours of debate that we have participated in, in good faith on behalf of our constituents, is institutional corruption in the form of the Gaming Control Act, Future Gaming Market Amendment Bill of 2021. I condemn the bill to the house.