The open letter from 75 Tasmanian businesses implores both Labor and the Liberals to listen to the deep concern within the community about pokies. Author and historian, James Boyce, is voicing those concerns, and political leaders must listen.
Tasmanians, and Tasmanian businesses, want a these machines removed from the community. Removing pokies from pubs and clubs would see social harm minimized, and communities and local economies strengthened.
Professor Mangan’s report released by Anglicare recently, confirmed the millions lost through poker machines every year is funneled out the State. Pokies are not only damaging people and communities, but also Tasmania’s small businesses.
If poker machines were removed from the suburbs, social harm would be minimized and money would flow into often poorer communities. This would have undeniable social and economic impacts for areas that are currently being bled dry by these machines.
This is a once in a generation chance to stop the harm cause by pokies, and to turn around Tasmania’s fortunes.
With inequality on the rise, the State’s leaders cannot stand by and ignore Tasmanians being preyed upon by these machines. They leech millions from disadvantaged Tasmanians, straight into the pockets of Federal Hotels.
The Greens are committed to removing poker machines from pubs and clubs. In the lead up to the State election, we hope Labor and the Liberals sever their ties to Federal Hotels, listen to the community and – finally - do the right thing by Tasmanians.