Was Labour Ever Serious About Pokie Reform?
We all know that the situation surrounding pokie reform consisted of some shady dealings. While MP Andrew Wilkie fought hard to ensure that mandatory pre-commitment would be imposed, it never seemed as though Julia Gillard was very serious about the provision. After negotiations fell through and Wilkie settled for a trial of voluntary pre-commitment, it was obvious that Gillard had never intended to implement the reform. Now, documents have been released that further prove what the general public already knew.
According to a report by News Limited, documents show that Gillard had secretly cancelled a $800 000 anti-pokies campaign without Andrew Wilkie’s knowledge. The campaign was aimed at generating support for poky reform, but it seems as though Julia Gillard did not want that to happen.
Gillard has come forward to combat the claims. She says that she did not cancel the campaign because she was not on board with pokie reform. Instead, she felt that the government had everything it needed to proceed and decided that spending the $800 000 was unnecessary.
Wilkie has a different perspective however:
“Its reluctance to even now bring on watered down pokies reforms makes me wonder if it gives a toss about problem gamblers and those they affect,” he says.