Ms DAWKINS question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN
A significant majority of Tasmanians want poker machines removed from pubs and clubs. They want the Federal monopoly deed extinguished. As you are aware, behind the scenes the vested interests who profit from the misery caused by pokies are lobbying Liberal and Labor MPs to maintain the status quo.
Can you confirm that Federal Group and the Australian Hotels Association Tas have struck a deal to try to subvert a proper public and parliamentary process and ensure that pokie money keeps rolling in? What is your knowledge of the agreement between Federal Group and the AHA which was flagged on the ABC radio this morning and which we understand will be presented to the parliamentary committee tomorrow?
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for the question. I cannot confirm what the member suggests other than I understand that a submission will be made on the future of gaming activity. It is part of the process that will allow this to be so. It is a process that is allowing Tasmanians with all perspectives to participate in an open way under the scrutiny of the parliamentary committee and indeed, by extension, this parliament and the broader community. It is a way for us to re-set what the future of gaming activity -
Ms O'Connor - Do you think it is reasonable that Federal and the AHA can stitch up a deal?
Madam SPEAKER - Order. The Premier has the call.
Mr HODGMAN - It is a matter for the THA and for Federal Hotels as to what they do. I reject any suggestion by the member who asked the question that suggests a motive, nor indeed anything inappropriate by this Government, which is behaving far more appropriately than former governments that did not open up the future of gaming licences to public tender. They did not open up the discussion about the future of gaming activity to public inquiry as is happening now.
The Federal Group, the THA, and any other organisation is entitled to put their view to this inquiry, to put their perspective and have it available for the community and the Government to consider in due course.