Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
ABC Network News -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) pre-commitment technology for poker machines until after the federal election. It was due to start this month, but clubs say the Coalition would dump the plan if it wins the election. The Federal Government is blaming the delays in the progress of its poker machine laws on the collapse of this trial. For more we're going live to Canberra. Political reporter Nick Dole is speaking to Independent senator Nick Xenophon.Xenophon zep, welcome to ABC News 24. Pleasure.Clubs ACT says you're part of the problem here, in delaying the legislationI've got to give them for full marks for a gobsmacking exercise in historical recession. Any delays has been the result of the Government backing down from itel original commitment for full pre-commitment, and for the clubs to say that people that had wanted the reforms in the first place are to blame is just frankly ridiculous.So you are saying there wasn't any need for the clubs to wait for this legislation to go through?There wasn't. They could have gone ahead with it straightaway. The Government was prepared to commit money for the trial. What I think the clubs are scared of is if the pre-commitment trial showed that this would be very effective in tackling problem gambling it would have put them in a very difficult position post the election or post later this year, because we know that the Coalition is against any form of trial going ahead which is gobsmacking again. That's rally quite inconsistent with their views in terms of tackling problem gambling.Doesn't that argument make sense, though, if the Coalition will scrap it in any event why proceed with a trial that has got to be aborted halfway through?Well, because we have legislation that says the machines are mandatory commitment ready. In terms of what the Government - what the clubs are saying, they are saying let's not even have a trial to see the effectiveness of full pre-commitment, a key recommendation of the Productivity Commission's report because they say that combined with $1 bets will significantly reduce problem gambling in Australia.To be fair, they haven't abandoned the plan, they've just put it on the back Bushehr until after the next electionWell, we know what that's about. It is a completely cynical move. What we do know is that the Productivity Commission's independent recommendations were that in order to tackle a very significant gambling problem in this country on poker machines, 40% of losses coming from problem gamblers, you need a combination of pre-commitment and dollar bets.Clubs ACT say it is actually approached the Government about participating in a trial. Isn't it unfair to say that they are completely against it?Look, they are being very cute about it on this. They're happy to have voluntary pre-commitment. Voluntary pre-commitment does not work. Voluntary pre-commitment is really an oxymoron because you can't have one or the other. The Productivity Commission has acknowledged that. It's not robust, not effective. This is all about people having a budget to gamble, but the clubs very cleverly have positioned themselves in a way to sabotage the trial and of course they will blame everybody else for their sabotage.There is really no legislation sort of governing this trial in the ACT. Should you have sought an assurance or a guarantee that this could happen?This was Andrew Wilkie's legislation and Andrew did his level best after the Government dudded him on their promise to introduce full pre-commitment by 2014, so I'm - to blame Andrew Wilkie when he has acted in good faith all along is completely disingeneral wous of the club movement. That was the best he could get. In the end I didn't support the legislation because I thought it was a complete breach of father faith, but by the same Toke earn, I won't be voting to arepeal it.You've stepped out of the committee examining $1 bets. Given that we can't get a trial started in the a tiny territoryDon't diminish the ACT.Well, just one jurisdiction, how do you think the chances are of getting any further measures through particularly if the Opposition does form government?Well, the ALP and the Opposition haven't been too far apart on this, unfortunately. We know that literally hundreds of thousands of Australians who are suffer deeply because of poker machine addiction today. Every problem gambler affects the lives of 7 others. We know that from independent research that something like 80-90% of Australians want $1 bet. You can lose $120 an hour rather than $1,200 an hour on machines.Nick Xenophon, the Government today has announced plans to make the parliamentary budget office public an order of each party's policy costings 30 days after the poll. What effect will that have on transparency, if any?I think it is a good process. I don't know if it applies to me because obviously it applies to parties that are seeking to form government or putting up an alternative. I think it's welcome. Let's see how robust it will be, but it's genuinely a positive step and I think that the Lower House Independents to push that through, it is one incremental measure to transparency.Vera Zvonareva, thanks for time.Thank you..Nick Xenophon, thanks very much.Thank you.Alicia Barry with the markets. The Reserve