ANDREW WILKIE, Independent candidate for Denison, 3 July 2009

Independent candidate for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, will at 11.00 am today at 100 New Town Road New Town unveil the first of a series of giant 6×3 metre anti-pokies billboards as part of his campaign to win a seat at the next state election.

“Today’s unveiling marks the progress of my efforts from preparation to active campaigning,” Mr Wilkie said. “It demonstrates my determination to run a serious, well funded and high profile campaign, the likes of which have not been seen before in Tasmanian politics by an Independent candidate.”

“The Labor, Liberal and Greens parties should be very concerned to learn that a steady stream of people from right across the political spectrum is approaching me to voice their concerns with Tasmanian politics and to offer me support. It’s over eight months from the election and I’m already well on my way to having the 100 nominators required to stand as a Grouped Independent candidate and have raised more than half of my baseline campaign budget.”

“That my first big campaign event is a giant anti-poker machine billboard is a deliberate effort to energise the pokies issue in particular and to keep the pressure on the Labor Government do something – anything – to genuinely diminish the serious harm done by the machines. Over $200 million is lost in these machines each year by the most vulnerable members of our community but the Government refuses to implement most of the harm minimisation strategies recommended by its own Gaming Commission.”

“No political party is off the hook when it comes to pokies. All of them – Labor, Liberal and Greens – would allow poker machines in Tasmania after the next state election. I remain the only candidate committed to the abolition of all poker machines.”

Authorised by Kate Burton 208 Elizabeth Street North Hobart Tasmania 7000