Greens promise to bring us PokieLeaks


ACT Greens spokesperson for Gaming Michael Mazengarb says that following the Federal announcement from Greens Senator Larissa Waters, Senator Nick Xenophon and Andrew Wilkie MP to use parliamentary privilege to protect whistleblowers from the gambling industry; the ACT Greens have extended the PokieLeaks campaign to whistleblowers in the ACT who have information about industry tactics, poker machine design and payments, and committed to putting that information into the public domain.

“The Greens will always put people before pokies – in the Assembly and in the community,” Michael said.

“Putting the community first means not only standing up to clubs, the casino and the Liberal and Labor parties to reduce the number of pokies in Canberra; it also means being a voice for the community in the Assembly when people have information about the gambling lobby that the public deserve to know about.

“We know that here in the ACT, and around the country, political parties profit from pokie machines. It’s the people addicted to gambling that they hurt.

“Not only are we committed to ending political donations from the gambling lobby and getting big money out of politics, but we are committed to protecting whistleblowers who have information about these highly addictive machines and the industry that backs them.

“Australians lose more money per person than anywhere else on the face of the earth to poker machines. That includes more than the 4,000 people in Canberra who show moderate or higher risk gambling behaviour.

“The ACT Greens will always put our community before the multi-billion dollar gambling industry that profits from addiction, and we will protect any whistleblowers who come forward with information during the next ACT Assembly.”

UPDATE: The Liberals have responded with some vigour:

The ACT Greens’ plans to crack down on the poker machine industry through a PokieLeaks campaign stands in stark contrast to Shane Rattenbury’s push to fill Canberra’s casino with poker machines and take money from the CFMEU which own and operates hundreds of poker machines, Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Hanson said today.

“Since Shane Rattenbury has been in the Barr Labor Cabinet, the ACT Greens have taken a $50,000 donation from the CFMEU, which profits from owning hundreds of poker machines in the ACT, and has supported the roll out of hundreds of poker machines into the Canberra Casino,” Mr Hanson said.

“If Shane Rattenbury was serious about his plan to crack down on poker machines he should:

— Hand back the $50,000 donation made to the Greens from the CFMEU.

–Work with his Labor Coalition partners to reverse the decision to allow hundreds of pokies in the Casino.

“A little like Mr Rattenbury’s objection to negative gearing policy, whilst profiting from two negatively properties, Mr Rattenbury and the Greens have a public position that is contradicted by their actions.

“If the Greens don’t hand back the $50,000 donation from one of Canberra’s largest poker machine operators and reverse the decision to give hundreds of pokies to the Casino, their actions could be the first issue to be investigated by Mr Wilkie’s proposed PokieLeaks,” Mr Hanson concluded.

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