Sunday, 12 December 2010

Dazed and Confused Victorian Liberals

It's as if they stumbled into the light after years in a cave, the Victorian Liberals have a confused sense what to do about John Brumby's failed pokie policies that have left Victoria with the worst problem gambling prevalence of any Australian state. Despite a misleading headline, one hopes that the editorial correctly describes the dissension between Premier Ted Balleiu and Gaming Minister Michael O'Brien when it revealed:
"Mr O'Brien's comments opposing the introduction of mandatory pre-commitment appear to place him at odds with Mr Baillieu, who suggested in the state election campaign that mandatory pre-commitment should be introduced ''as soon as practicable''."
The Premier is right and Mr O'Brien wrong. Click here to read the full article.

The first misconception promoted by Mr O'Brien about the Federal Government's policy is that it is something made up between Andrew Wilkie and Julia Gillard. This is wrong. The Federal Government's policy is no more than an adoption of the key full pre-commitment recommendation of the Productivity Commission.

The second misconception is that all pokie gamblers will be required to participate in the pre-commitment system to gamble. Wrong, again. Mr O'Brien clearly did not read the Commission's final report or Jenny Macklin's speech where she said:
"We also want to minimise the impact on occasional players and overseas visitors. The Productivity Commission’s model would allow occasional gamblers to play outside the pre-commitment system, by purchasing a pre-paid card for example."
Put another way, the Commission has carefully designated the moment when dangerous gambling might begin. It is at that point when the gambler must make a pre-commitment decision.

Remember this is the very same Commission, Mr O'Brien's party wants to review the $34 billion NBN plan. How can they be so right for NBN, but, apparently so wrong on pokie gambling?

The answer is that they are right for both.

Mr O'Brien must do the right thing and applaud the Commission's recommendation about recreational gamblers and undertake effective Victorian implementation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gambling is a serious issue across Australia, but the problem is significantly over-represented in Victoria. Hopefully education and appropriate legislative changes will alleviate it somewhat.

Edway RCG Sydney