Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr GUTWEIN
The toxic by-product of your Government and Labor's cosy, supplicant relationship with the gambling industry is on its way to the Legislative Council. Debate stopped shortly before midnight last night but the Elwick Hotel was still open, sucking money out of the pockets of the desperate and poor. So too was the Launceston Country Club Casino which closes its pokies barn at 2 a.m. on a week night and 4 a.m. on weekends.
Because of your Government's gambling policy and Labor's craven capitulation, the loss and suffering to gambling addiction will be multi-generational. People will lose their lives.
What do you have to say to explain yourself to the people in your own electorate who are suffering right now as a result of gambling addiction and the community sector organisation that urged you to include stronger harm minimisation measures, but who you ignored?
Mr SPEAKER - On getting to your feet Premier, the debate has been had in this House, so the overall gambling issues can be debated but not specifically a re-debate of the bill.
Mr Speaker, pull me up if I stray into a space that I should not.
I thank the Leader of the Greens for that question and for her ongoing interest in this matter. I will start by saying this, I think your position on this is driven by embarrassment. I honestly think it is driven by a little bit of cowardice. The reason I say that is it is my Government that has ended the monopoly, importantly, we have underpinned those small pubs and clubs in regional and rural areas and the jobs they provide.
We doubled the amount of money been spent in terms of harm-minimisation. We are moving already one of the strongest harm-minimisation frameworks in this country, if not in the world, to being world-leading, by introducing facial recognition technology and also looking at smart-card technology. That is what we have done. That is what my Government has done.
Mr GUTWEIN - When that member was a minister, when that member who continues to interject was a minister, in the Labor-Greens government, when that government was held up by her vote, what did she do, when she had the opportunity? She did nothing. She did zero.
I come back to where I started. I think her position on this is driven because of embarrassment in respect of her cowardice when she had the opportunity to act.
Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Mr Speaker, on relevance. First of all what the Premier says is untrue, but could you direct him to the question, which is what does he have to say to his constituents and the community sector?
Mr SPEAKER - It is not a point of order, Ms O'Connor.
Mr GUTWEIN - I will finish the point I was making. Driven by the cowardice she displayed when she was in government, held a vote that at the end of the day held that government in place, and did nothing.
I am proud, as Premier, that I have actually taken steps and I have improved harm-minimisation and I have ended the monopoly. I would say to my constituents, do not believe the fake proposition that has been put forward by the Greens because, when they had the opportunity, they did nothing.
Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, the Premier has just misled the House. We moved for a $1 bet limit and for casinos to contribute.
Mr SPEAKER - It is not a point of order, Ms O'Connor, and you know that.
Mr GUTWEIN - When that member was a minister what she set out to do was not fix harm-minimisation, was not in the monopoly. What she set out to do was to shut down the forestry industry. That is what they used their vote for. That is why they propped up that government for four years, because what they wanted to do was stop the forestry industry. Trees were more important than harm-minimisation. That is a statement of fact.