Greens’ spokesperson for gambling, Senator Richard Di Natale, said today that the likelihood of pokies reform has firmed with an extra vote for the government on the floor of the house.
“We are one vote closer to meaningful pokies reform with the option of $1 bet limits continuing to pick up speed,” said Senator Di Natale.
“The Prime Minister and Minister Macklin have said repeatedly that they were not pursuing reform just because of the agreement with Andrew Wilkie, but because pokies addiction is destroying Australian families.
“The return of Harry Jenkins to the Labor party caucus gives them some breathing space and adds another pokies reform advocate to the government ranks.
“Mr Jenkins made every effort to remain independent when in his role as Speaker, which makes his decision while he was still speaker in October to speak out about the ‘misery and despair’ caused by pokies and the need for reform all the more remarkable.
“If government uses its increased majority to back-flip on its commitment it would mean that some kids will continue to go hungry and more families will be shattered. The Australian people wouldn’t stand for it.
“Make no mistake - pokies reform didn’t lose momentum yesterday, it gained another advocate in the government."
Media contact: Andrew Blyberg 0457 901 600