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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 349

Mr TUDGE (AstonMinister for Human Services) (17:59): Australia is a federation. The Federation came about in 1901 and the Constitution outlines powers for the Commonwealth; all other powers reside with the state and territory governments. Some people do not believe we should have a federal structure anymore, but we do have a federal structure. The states and territories have very significant responsibilities, and they need to be accountable for those responsibilities, one of which is the regulation of poker-machine venues. They are responsible for the licensing of poker machines and the collection of revenues that come from those poker machines—and they are largely responsible for the problems that emanate from those poker machines. It is completely contained within their jurisdictional boundaries.

We might disagree with the policy approach a state or territory government takes, and frequently we do. I am a proud Victorian, but I have great issue with the Andrews government, at the moment, in how they are conducting their business. We will fight tooth and nail against some of the things they are doing, particularly the way that they approach or do not approach the issue of crime in Victoria. Many people are greatly concerned about the weakness of the bail laws, the way the Victorian government has not strengthened the police forces—to give them sufficient powers—and some of the other issues that Matthew Guy has been referring to. But, at the end of the day, they are a sovereign jurisdiction, and they are responsible for those things.

If you want the Tasmanian government, for example, to change the way they go about their regulation of the poker machines then I encourage you to lobby the Tasmanian government, just as, in relation to the crime issues in Victoria, we are lobbying and making a case to the Victorian government.