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Kristie Johnston, Question to Parliament – 28 September 2022

By September 28, 2022No Comments

Thank you Mr Speaker

My question is to the Premier

Premier, the Deputy Premier’s announcement earlier this month that he would introduce a State-wide poker machine player card system with mandatory pre-commitment was welcomed by me and many others.

Many, but not all.

There was a scathing response from the Tasmanian Hospitality Association claiming pub owners were “in shock” and had been “blind-sided” by the Government.

Premier, if history is a guide, this reaction from the THA is only the start.

You will recall the well-funded campaign a decade ago against the Gillard Federal Government’s similar pre-commitment policy in a deal with Andrew Wilkie. The industry mobilised their employees and launched a saturation PR blitz centred on “love your local” and “licence to punt” scare campaigns.

Gillard crumbled inside 12 months, tore up her agreement with Wilkie, ditching the reforms.

And we saw how formidable the industry is at a campaigning here and influencing governments in the 2018 state election.

Premier, will you stand by the policy announced by the Deputy Premier no matter what the poker machine and hospitality industries throw at you?

Are all members of your Government rock-solid behind the policy and will you guarantee none will buckle under industry pressure?

Premier, have you met with industry representatives since the announcement and told them that the Government is absolutely committed to these reforms, and is not for turning?

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