Wilkie backstabbed

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Nick Xenophon has urged the Productivity Commission to clarify its recommendations to reduce problem gambling, saying the Gillard government is ”cherry picking” from the commission’s 2010 report which recommended pokies be limited to a $1 maximum bet in 2016. The government maintains that since last week’s dumping of a written agreement with MP Andrew Wilkie to introduce legislation nationally by 2016 to limit losses by problem gamblers, it is following the commission’s advice for a trial of mandatory pre-commitment technology. Senator Xenophon wrote to the commission this week, saying he was concerned the government was not accurately representing, and potentially misinterpreting, the commission’s advice. ”I do not make this request for any political end,” wrote the senator. ”However, the commission’s report into gambling is currently the ‘gold standard’ for research in this area and, as a long-time advocate for gambling reform, I believe it is vital that the commission’s research and recommendations are represented accurately.” Opposition MP Christopher Pyne has joined Senator Xenophon in raising concerns about whether the $37 million compensation package for lost revenue during the trial in the ACT would flow to ALP coffers. Four clubs in the ACT donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Labor party every year. Nick Xenophon told Neos Kosmos that Julia Gillard had “backstabbed” pokie machine reformer Andrew Wilkie, and dismissed the PM’s defence that she did not have enough of her own MPs in support of the promised legislation. “Why didn’t she test it on the floor of the parliament? Andrew Wilkie trusted her in good faith to deliver it. A promise is a promise, what happened here is a disgrace. She never put any effort into it,” said Senator Xenophon. “Some are saying what a clever piece of political manoeuvring it was on her part, but the fact is this is about real people whose lives are being destroyed by poker machines.” Senator Xenophon added that the Coalition’s response to Julia Gillard’s u-turn was hugely hypocritical. “Tony Abott doesn’t deserve to make any political capital out of this because he has had a shameless position in supporting the club industry to date. The independent Senator pointed to the newly-formed Stop the Loss campaign led by Tim Costello, as one of the devices that will increasingly focus the public’s attention on the issues and provide a voice for poker machine addicts. “Julia Gillard’s decision to renege on her promise is a setback for reform, but let’s think about the people whose lives have been and are being destroyed, hundreds of thousands of Australians each year. Ultimately people power will win the day, but it will be a long hard fight.”last_img read more