The Greens welcome the decision from Labor to finally commit to removing pokies from pubs and clubs.
The community campaigners who have been working tirelessly should feel extremely proud of themselves for achieving this huge win for Tasmania.
With first the Greens and now Labor committed to removal of poker machines from pubs and clubs, a power sharing Parliament can lance this boil once and for all, saving lives and livelihoods from pokies.
All that is left is for the Liberals to change their position and come to the table, then we can start having a tripartite conversation about how to get rid of pokies from pub and clubs, rather than if we will.
Labor’s $55 million package, not including the approximately $30 million in forgone revenue, is an expensive one. Tasmanians will want to be reassured Labor’s plan to buy out the industry doesn’t come at a cost of essential services.
Governments can and should ban and regulate products for public health and safety. They simply cannot afford to spend this kind of money every time they do.
If, in the next term of government, this is the only way to achieve pokies free communities we will support it.
However the Greens are of the view that we could achieve this essential change without spending such a large amount of taxpayer money.