A statement on the Third Social and Economic Impact Study of Gambling in Tasmania
The Third Social and Economic Impact Study of Gambling in Tasmania, tabled in the State Parliament today, makes for miserable reading.
Crucially, the Study finds that there was no significant change in the number of problem gamblers, nor those at moderate risk of becoming a problem gambler. This makes a lie of all the rhetorical nonsense from governments about the effectiveness of current harm minimisation measures.
No wonder the Productivity Commission found in 2010 that the only truly effective poker machine harm minimisation measures would be one dollar maximum bets and mandatory pre-commitment. Of course the Productivity Commission report remains ignored both at the federal and state level, and indeed the Liberal and Labor parties even went so far as to overturn the limited mandatory pre-commitment arrangements legislated in the previous federal parliament.
Also alarming is the Study’s finding that the Tasmanian Government has a significantly higher dependence on gambling related revenue than the national average. No wonder this and the previous state government have no interest in helping problem gamblers, political misbehaviour made all the more alarming by the Liberal and Labor parties’ delight at big political donations from gambling interests. State governments remain the biggest pokies addicts of all.
It would be another lie for the State Government to crow about the fall in recent years in gambling losses seeing as the Study also found that this reduction in expenditure is in part due to Tasmania’s poor economic climate and the rapidly increasing losses with online gambling.
Let’s not forget what all this means. Thousands of Tasmanians are problem gamblers and this is destroying individuals and families. Problem gamblers are all too often taking their own lives.
Author: Andrew Wilkie The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, questions the Education Minister, Christopher Pyne, over the higher education reforms and proposed $400m restructure of the University of Tasmania.
Pyne holds UTAS to ransom
The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has condemned the Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne, for continuing to hold Tasmania and its university to ransom over his higher education reforms.
Mr Wilkie pressed Mr Pyne in Question Time today to commit to $400m in funding to allow the University of Tasmania’s planned restructure.
``So will you now act in the public interest and commit to that funding, or do you intend to promise it closer to the next election in a cynical move to try and save the three Tasmanian Liberal amigos?,’’ Mr Wilkie asked Mr Pyne.
In answer, Mr Pyne failed to commit to the funding and continued to link the funding to the passage of reforms.
Mr Wilkie said Mr Pyne was effectively holding Tasmania and the University of Tasmania to ransom.
``Universities existed before Mr Pyne’s reform proposal and must exist afterwards, regardless of the reform’s success or failure,’’ Mr Wilkie said.
``Hence Mr Pyne really should stop linking to the reforms the critical $400m restructure funding for the University of Tasmania.
``The fact is the University of Tasmania needs to restructure no matter what happens with the Government’s reforms. Otherwise it will continue to struggle to maintain the Launceston and Burnie campuses. Without broad restructuring, the University will be unable to realise its full potential as a social and economic powerhouse, particularly in disadvantaged areas and for disadvantaged students.”