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Monday, 26 March 2018
Page: 2192

Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (21:47): The Greens will be supporting these amendments. We think they go a significant way to fixing the incredible weaknesses in this bill. The whole point of this legislation was to ban gambling ads during live television. The minister and the Prime Minister said that this is what they were going to do and this is what they had agreement to do. Then, once we had the legislation and once we had the code developed and adopted by ACMA, we found out that that is not what is occurring. What is occurring is that some gambling ads will be banned, but not all and not during some of the most popular and watched periods and not for some of the most popular sporting events—whether that be the Big Bash, Friday night football or the tennis. These are all things that are shown beyond 8.30 pm.

The evidence and the health experts tell us, and the Prime Minister has acknowledged, that these insidious gambling ads are dangerous and terrible and should not be rammed down the throats of our children, that they undermine the spirit of watching sport and that they ruin that experience for many parents sitting there with their kids. That's all undermined by the fact that the way these rules are written means that, post 8.30 pm, you can go rip—the ads can be played. It's extraordinary that, on the one hand, we're hearing the government saying that we need this legislation to put in place these laws because these ads are terrible but, on the other hand, during some of the most popular periods of these sporting events, these big, online gambling companies can continue to play their ads. Just like my colleague Senator Whish-Wilson mentioned, all of the evidence from various Senate committees that have looked at this issue in the past has said that the later in the evening these events go the more intense the ads for betting become.

Progress reported.