Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Which Way Woolworths?

Way back in 2007, Michael Luscombe proudly proclaimed to shareholders that "we want to take a leadership position on this in our industry. In fact, our internal covenant for that is, in fact, to take a leadership position in the area of problem gaming". A statement published in today's Australian newspaper contradicts Mr Luscombe's proud proclamation.
Here it is:
"Xenophon is calling on the Woolies board, chaired by James Strong, to introduce a pokies plan that includes implementing the national principles for responsible gaming and, ultimately, disposal of all its poker machine assets. He needs 100 shareholders to sign his petition, which requests the company provide his statement to all investors and consider his proposal at the upcoming meeting.

Woolworths argues that it already complies with all applicable responsible gambling requirements. "These legislative requirements vary from state to state, but cover various areas including minors barred from entry to gambling areas," said a spokeswoman."
There's a big difference between Woolworths' refusal to commit to the National Principles already agreed to by all state ministers and the federal ministers until they become a legislative requirement and Mr Luscombe's proclamation of leadership.

Listen again to the words of Michael Luscombe by clicking on his picture below.

Listen to how he states without qualification that Woolworths treat their pokie gambling practices "very very very seriously". Listen again to how he spruicks that "our internal covenant for that is, in fact, to take a leadership position in the area of problem gaming".

Either Mr Luscombe was misleading shareholders, Woolworths 'internal covenant' has changed so that Woolworths will do nothing unless legislated or their spokesperson was speaking falsely. I base this on their present refusal to commit to the National Principles let alone match Coles undertakings. All this Woolies' double-speak underlines the need for Woolworths pokie conduct to be formally raised before all of their shareholders.

It's simple to do.

If you have any Woolworths shares or know anyone who does, please log on to www.NickXenophon.com.au, click on the Woolworths Pokie People banner and follow the directions.

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