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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 349

Mr WILKIE (Denison) (17:58): Within that answer another problem arises. Because the state and territory governments are entirely responsible, at the moment, for the regulation of poker machines and poker machine venues, they are also the sole beneficiary of the taxation that is collected, which gives them a fundamental conflict of interest. That goes to the point that my colleague Senator Xenophon and I have made—and I am sure the member for Mayo has made it repeatedly as well—that state and territory governments have shown that they cannot be trusted, because there is a fundamental conflict of interest there because they are the regulator of something from which they are a financial beneficiary, even though the research shows that that apparent windfall for them is actually a false windfall. I recall there was some very good research commissioned by the Tasmanian government that showed that the cost to the community of problem gambling is between two and three times the value of the revenue that is raised. So I make the point—through you, Deputy Speaker—to the minister that, because it is entirely their business, dropping out of that is one of the good reasons why we here should address the issue and why this government, this minister, should address this issue.