COMMITTEES Gambling Reform Committee Report


Senator IAN MACDONALD (Queensland) (18:26): I move:

That the Senate take note of the document.

The first report of the joint committee was The design and implementation of a mandatory pre-commitment system for electronic gaming machines. I refer to the government response to that particular report. I simply want to draw the attention of the Senate to the government's complete confusion over gambling. You will recall that, to achieve office, Ms Gillard made certain promises to a Tasmanian House of Representatives member who had a particular interest in gambling reform. As a result of Ms Gillard's promises, this particular member of the lower house, an Independent member, decided to support the Gillard government and Ms Gillard became Prime Minister after the last election.

Why this particular member continues to support Ms Gillard as Prime Minister and the Labor Party as the government of our country I cannot follow, because this particular member, if I might use the vernacular, was shafted by the Labor Party when their proposals received such enormous backlash from the community. The government response to this first report does not really address why there was the backdown. I do not know how the particular member of the lower house in Tasmania could possibly look himself in the mirror having promised that he would only support Ms Gillard if she introduced his proposals for what he called 'gambling reform'. That did not happen and he was lied to. It did not happen. One would have thought he would have withdrawn his support, but, for some reason, that did not happen. It did not happen because, as those listening to this broadcast will know, there was such an enormous community backlash to the proposals of Ms Gillard to 'reform' the gambling arrangements that applied. Club after club, who use gambling revenue to do all sorts of very good community work, campaigned actively against the Labor Party and Ms Gillard.

I do not want to say too much on the government response except to highlight that the response again clearly shows the government's absolute confusion and duplicity when it comes to these mattersin this instance, gambling reform. Promises were made; people changed their actions because of those promises. Because of those promises, we are burdened with a Labor government. Those promises were broken as easily as the promise that there would be no carbon tax under a government Ms Gillard led. I simply say to senators and to those who might be listening that this gambling reform incident demonstrates, as does the there-will-be-no-carbon tax promise, that this is a Prime Minister and leader of the Labor Party you simply cannot trust. You cannot believe anything that she says. This whole gambling reform fiasco is yet another demonstration of how our current Prime Minister is, I regret to say, completely untrustworthy when it comes to honouring her word. I seek leave to continue my remarks later.

Leave granted.

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