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ABC News Breakfast -

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(generated from captions) July last year and they've been

regularly spotted together. Today independent

Senator Nick Xenophon and MP

Andrew Wilkie will lodge a

formal complaint with Channel 9 after the network aired comments regarding

comments regarding the proposed

poker machine laws during an

NRL game. Football comment

taitors Ray Warren and Phil

Gould were discussing the

gambling laws during coverage

of the NRL semifinals. The Senator Nick Xenophon joins us

from the A about. C's Adelaide

news room. Thanks for joining

us. What form does your

complaint take? Well, the way

that under the commercial code of practice, before you go

of practice, before you go to

ACMA, the regulator, you need

to go to the station. That's

why Andrew and Wilkie and I are

writing this morning saying

that the statements made last

weekend, the previous weekend,

were misleading, they were

misleading in that they -

misleading and aarming in terms

of content and it didn't distinguish itself from

editorial or community service announcement, it just seemed part of the commentary, which

comment. it clearly wasn't. Well, it was

comment. You're taking it a

step further, if I understand

correctly, and arguing it constitutes political

advertising, is that right?

Well, it is, in the sense that

if two people are bantderring

in the course of a show, commentary, that's one thing.

This seemed to be heavily

scripted. It was clearly

making political comment. If

you're making political

comment, that's fine, but

disclose it is actually political

political comment, disclose

it's commentary or an

announcement that goes beyond

what is the ordinary banter

between two commentators in the

course of the game. This

clearly was. I can understand

and expect the kind of banter

that I might hear or discussion

or commentary during such a

game, to argue the point here,

to test, I guess, your

argument, that I might hear a

commenter say "if that person

is hired to coach that team, it

is hired to coach that team, it

will be a debacle". So if I

hear a commentator say "if this

law gets passed, it will be

very bad for the clubs", what's

the difference? There is a

difference. Firstly, it was

misleading. It didn't set out

the facts in terms of what the

actual proposed reforms were.

It didn't set that out. It

said basically clubs would be

ruined without giving the

context of the proposed reforms. The second thing is that it seemed to be

that it seemed to be quite

heavily scripted. There was no

disclosure - You don't know

that for certain. Even if it

were scripted, would that be a

problem? I think it is,

because under the ACMA code,

you need to disclose that

something is either a community

service announcement, a

political commentary or

essentially something that goes

beyond the ordinary banter.

The process is this, we'll

write to David gidgeel, get

write to David gidgeel, get his

comment on it and we'll go from

there as to whether it goes

further with ACMA. That's the

first step. I don't think it's

unreasonable. What I find

objectionable about the club's campaign, of which this

commentary seems part, it

doesn't set out the facts. It

seems a campaign based on fear.

It doesn't set out what the

actual reforms are, which is

why again Andrew Wilkie and I challenge Clubs Australia to

have a debate at the National

Press Club so we can have a

Press Club so we can have a

debate on the facts. This is turning into a big debate when

it comes to the airways and

both sides of the argument

purchasing air time. You'll be

well aware during the NRL grand

final they had their ads almost

in a dualing situation. Do you

have a view on who might have

won that particular

competition? I'm a little biassed, Virginia,

biassed, Virginia, just a touch

biassed on this. I haven't

actually seen the ad, but I've

seen basically the content. I

think the reason why clubs and

the pokies lobby will lose on

this is that most Australians

know someone or of someone hurt

by poker machines. That is the

killer for them. As much as

they try to spin this, most people seem to know someone

affected by poker machine, problem gambling,

problem gambling, that's why I

think no matter how much money

they spend on ads going against

these, I think practical

reforms, they won't win this at

the end of the day. Yes, but

the money they spend on those

ads and the ferocity of those

ads might in the end start to

Federal Government and Julia weaken the resolve of the

Gillard in particular. Do you

detect that's happening? I

detect there's nervousness, I

detect that there needs to be a this. better debate in relation to

this. I detect that we need to

have a fulsome public debate to

set out the reforms. Having $1

per spin machine, those playing

poker machines don't spend more

than $1 is a spin, with a low

arer jackpot so you can reduce

your rate of loss, if you want

to play high-intensity

pre-commitment machines, you sign up for a

pre-commitment card. That

there. I think that's message isn't getting out

essential. The problem for the

Government is they have the

resolve of Andrew Wilkie, who

will pull the pin. Andrew has

said this to me all along from

day one. That's right, he repeated the other day to Sky

News, if it doesn't pass both

Houses of Parliament by budget

early next May I'll tear up my

agreement and then we'll be in unchartered waters, was the phrase he used. phrase he used. Do you think

that's the correct strategy for

him to take, not offering him advice, but just your view on

that? I'm happy to offer him

advice, he gets it from me all

the time. That's his strategy,

I respect that. What if you end

up in unchartered waters you don't have Julia Gillard as

Prime Minister or a government

on shaky legs? Andrew Wilkie

has a very good relationship

with Julia Gillard. They have

it's a good working relationship,

it's a respectful relationship.

But everyone knows what his

views are on poker machine

reform. He wants to get the

reforms through. These are not radical reforms. They'll make

a difference in terms of the

number of Australians being

devastated by problem gambling

and their family members. Look

at Andrew Wilkie's history.

Here is a man who had a

comfortable career as

intelligence officer with

office of national assessment.

He tor that up because he wasn't going

wasn't going to be complicit in

false evidence about so-called

weapons of mass destruction.

He ended up selling Persian

rugs to make a quid. He will

again if he doesn't get the

reforms through. I hope that

won't happen. I like to think

the Government realises these

reforms are essential. Nick Xenophon, if you don't hear

what you want to hear from

Channel 9, what's your next

step? We haven't got to that yet.

yet. I've met David in the

past. I think he understands

if there's a problem, he'll try

to resolve it. An apology would

do it? Would that do it? It's

something I into ed to discuss

with Andrew, but there needs to

be clarification about those

comments and to try to rectify

the situation. It's inherently

misleading. Again, why won't

Clubs Australia debate Andrew and I at the National Press

Club in front of the nation's

media, where we can have a debate on debate on the facts, rather

than this fear mongering campaign which is just hysterical. Senator Xenophon,