RE: Gambling on future ( TB, March 15) opinion by Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Housing. Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.
This letter goes to the heart of the gambling probl em highlighted in the agreement signed on September 2, 2010 by Andrew Wilkie MP, Member for Denison ( Tasmania) with Prime Minister Julia Gillard. It should not be forgotten that the Federal Government holds on to power with the support of Andrew Wilkie.
Page 7 Section/ 7.8 of the agreement states: ‘ The government agrees t hat i t would rely on the productivity commissions future advice in determining future action on problem gambling’.
To my knowledge there is no commitment to online gambling. NRL games, AFL, soccer, cricket, basketball, horse racing – the list goes on because Australians like to gamble. A far greater danger lies, to quote Jenny Macklin’s words are pokie addicts. To single out a small section of the gambling industry for government control only shifts the gambling addict to other forms of gambling, with less controls to protect.
The productivity commission’s report on problem gambling is too narrow, and singles out sporting clubs in North Queensland. And to impose special consideration for smaller venues.
Clubs like North Queensland Cowboys Leagues Club will be at a disadvantage, as will golf clubs, the RSL, bowls clubs and any venue with poker machines. The Cowboys Leagues Club has returned more than $ 2 million back to the North Queensland community and to lose pokie revenues will see many jobs lost.
As it stands the Queensland Government, which draws revenue from these clubs, will be overruled by federal legislation on gambling, forced on it by one independent MP from Tasmania. NORM H. CANTON,