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Statement on gambling reform

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14 January 2012


On poker machine reform, I have consistently stated I will weigh up legislation on its merits when the detailed legislation is released and, if good, I’ll back it, and if bad, I won’t.

This continues to be the case and, as yet, I have not seen any legislation - not even in draft form. What I have received is an initial departmental briefing. It became clear in that briefing that the strategy the department is taking is to introduce ‘framework’ legislation this parliamentary session, with all the key details to come at some later date via regulations.

The department also indicated there would need to be a mandatory pre-commitment card for each separate operating system in Australia, meaning at least seven different cards in the one wallet. This week I have indicated to both the Prime Minister and Mr Wilkie that both these matters are of concern if my support is being sought.

I support gambling reform in Australia and do agree the communities most in need are hit the hardest by no reform. I respect and acknowledge the productivity reasons why the independent Productivity Commission has delivered two reports on this since 1999. I therefore urge all parties to continue to negotiate so as to achieve a necessary reform for Australia and Australian productivity.


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