Too much of a gamble?
The Greens candidate for Shortland, Phillipa Parsons believes the recommendations made by the Productivity Commission regarding gaming laws need to be addressed by the federal government as a matter of urgency. “These changes are desperately needed to address the social and economic problem of gambling addiction, a subject rarely discussed by politicians but one which has huge impacts on families,” she said.
“One significant recommendation easily implemented is for periodic shutdowns of gambling areas. This would be in addition to the current mandatory six hour (overnight) shutdown period. Under this proposal, poker machines would be shut down for 10 minutes every hour or half an hour every three hours,” said Ms Parsons.
“Problem gambling is the focus of the Commission’s report and urgent action is recommended to address this destructive addiction. Yet while both the government and the Coalition are aware of the urgency required it hasn’t rated a mention in the political maelstroms of spin emanating from both sides,” Ms Parsons said.
“Unlike some of the non-issues being relied upon by both major parties to draw battle lines this election, this is a real issue, one that is affecting Australian families right now and one that can so easily be addressed. My question to both major parties is do you have the political will to follow through these much needed recommendations?” Ms Parsons asked.
“Most of the harm minimization measures recommended by the Commission can be implemented quickly and at relatively low cost, with few transitional issues, however the financial gain by the state governments explains why there is such resistance to banning or restricting poker machines in hotels,” she said.
“The federal government needs to act and there is no doubt it has the power to act in this area. The Greens support minimizing the harm caused by problem gambling and with the balance of power in the senate, would work to ensure these recommendations are implemented,” she said.
CONTACT: Phillipa Parsons