Greens Call for Broader Inquiry into Gaming in Tasmania
Just ahead of the Joint Select Committee inquiry into pokie licenses and the Federal Group’s monopoly on pokies in Tasmania, there have been calls for the government to undertake a broader inquiry into gaming in the state.
The committee will be considering harm minimisation measures, as well as licensing arrangements for the future, but Greens MP Andrea Dawkins wants these guidelines to be extended to consider the phasing out of pokies in pubs and clubs across Australia and limiting them to casinos.
Ms Dawkins argued her view on Wednesday night in State Parliament; however the Greens move to change the terms of the reference were defeated by the Government and Labor.
Treasurer Peter Gutwein countered that the Government had outlined its draft policy positions on pokies last month and this includes poker machines in pubs and clubs. The government plans to consult with a wide range of opinions, with the committee including a member from each political party. They will report back by November 15.
As part of their proposed policy position, the Government’s statement read: “The current single network model could continue, with the rights to own and operate that network put to the market, or alternative models such as individual venue ownership under a common network control platform could also be considered.”
However, TasCOSS chief executive Kym Goodes expressed their concern over the inquiry’s structural framework arguing that its has not considered whether Tasmanians even want poker machines in their local clubs and pubs.
Ms Goodes argued that the community had not been heard in 1997 on this issue and the mistake could not be repeated.
“The Tasmanian people should be able to be heard on this issue and have the Government respond to their direction,” she said. “It appears from the documents today this will not happen.”
April 16, 2017