Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Economy

‘Businesses call on political leaders to act to protect Tasmanian communities and economy …’

First published September 14

At 1.30pm today (Thursday) an historic open letter is being delivered to Will Hodgman and Rebecca White by James Boyce.

The letter is from 75 Tasmanian business owners and calls on the political leaders to remove pokies from pubs and clubs and confine them to casinos.

The letter includes signatories from all parts of Tasmania and from many sectors of the economy, but especially the hotel and hospitality industry.

In the letter, the business owners voice their concern about the harm pokies are doing to the Tasmanian community and economy, especially in disadvantaged regions, and calls for ‘a fair go for the 74% of hotels and 96% of clubs without poker machines’.

The snowball of signatures was begun by James Boyce, an award winning historian, who delivered the letter today.

“In February I published a history of pokies in Tasmania and afterwards I was contacted by many people who were very concerned about the impact of these machines on their communities,” he said.

“Many were people who owned or managed Tasmanian businesses. It was clear that these business voices were not heard in the public debate about poker machines.

“It is important that the leaders of our political parties hear the voices of the people driving the Tasmanian economy.

“Over the course of two afternoons my friends and I rang as many businesses as we could and asked them if they would be interested in signing an open letter expressing their concern.

“We were overwhelmed by the response. Business people understand that it’s hard to create viable businesses in the hospitality industry, but they dislike what pokies are doing. Many publicans told us they had made the choice not to apply for pokies licences because they had seen what the machines do to people, and they had worked hard to create different business models for their hotels.

“It’s clear that there is a different hope for Tasmania out there. People want to see a new economy and a new future.”

*James Boyce is the author of Losing Streak: How Tasmania was Gamed by the Gambling Industry and the award-winning histories, Van Diemen’s Land and 1835: https://www.blackincbooks.com.au/books/losing-streak

Anglicare: Community Voice on Pokies Reform

Greens: Labor and Liberals Must Listen to Business and Community on Pokies

• Download the Open Letter …

Open_Letter.pdf

Examiner: James Boyce delivers open letter calling for poker machine ban in pubs and clubs

• Stephen Menadue in Comments: … I understand little about politics but to hear an aspiring Premier say the plan would be to buy the machines back and then keep Tassie pokies free made me feel really good. I’ve been told that, technically, the statement really didn’t count or didn’t mean what the words implied, or should I say, stated. Can a maker-of-a-promise be sued if they do not live up to it … ?

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times …

The Pokies Horror …

James Boyce: Will the ALP Dance to Lennon and Old’s Pokies Play List?

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]
10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Rom

    September 19, 2017 at 2:57 am

    Politicians… drunk on the ill gotten gains of misery and poverty and addiction that THEY have the power to end…. SHEER BASTARDRY!

  2. Simon Warriner

    September 14, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    If you go and read the book linked to this article you will find a little bit about the role of our sovereign, her representatives and their relationship to we, the people, that is very interesting in the context of this discussion.

    here: http://www.peoplesmandate.iinet.net.au/your_will_be_done.pdf

    The writer is an ex politician and constitutional scholar.

    “The Constitutions of the Commonwealth and States give the Queen, and Her appropriate representatives, the sole power and authority, at any time of their choosing, to dissolve the so-called Lower House and send those Members back to the electorate.

    If directed by the written WILL of the people the Queen or Her Representative, MUST dissolve the Lower House.

    This is one of the two most vital powers of control over Parliamentarians and Parliament that
    the people possess.

    The other is the power to ask the Queen to give them the specified results they want from the
    Parliamentary machine.

    ALWAYS REMEMBER THIS VITAL FACT: IF
    IT IS PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE, AND THE
    MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE WANT IT, THEN THE QUEEN HAS THE FINAL POWER TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT THE PEOPLE GET WHAT THEY WANT, AND NO COURT WOULD RULE AGAINST THE EXERCISE OF THE QUEEN’S POWER IN THAT RESPECT”

    What that means is that, if a sufficiently supported petition is collected that asks the Governor of Tasmania to direct parliament to remove pokies from pubs, it must be made to happen. If not then the Governor must dissolve that parliament and cause another to be elected.
    Or at least, that is how I read it.

    It seems a petition needs to be prepared, circulated and presented. Such a demonstration of the will of the people should be fairly convincing if recent survey results are to be believed.

  3. Pat Caplice

    September 14, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    Removing Pokies from pubs is a very simple matter. On July 1 next year the Treasurer of the day can send a simple two sentence letter to Greg Farrell.

    1/7/2018
    Dear Greg
    The “Deed” signed in 2003 expires today. It will not be renewed or extended. My government will not license Pokies outside casinos after the automatic 5 year rollover clause expires on July 1 2013.

    Licensing of Pokies, in one location in Hobart and one location in Launceston, as well as the licensing of table games and Keno beyond 2013 will be subject to negotiation with interested parties. You are invited to submit a proposal for these activities.

    ???????
    Treasurer

    That’s all that is needed. No legislation. No passing the Upper House. No other anything. Just one simple letter from the Treasurer of the day on July 1 2018.

    Will the election produce such a Treasurer? Who can tell yet but one thing is sure, it wouldn’t be signed by Gutwein.

    As to calls for compensation. What nonsense.

    The Deed, the “lease” that gives the right to operate Pokies in Tasmania was signed in 2003. It expires in 2018 with a 5 year “rollover” clause that allows them to operate until 2023.

    The Deed is owned by the people of Tasmania and given out on our behalf by parliament. We own it. When the lease on a building expires, unless the owners renew or extend it, it expires and is finished. The building owner doesn’t have to compensate the tenant or buy back the building.

    The same applies to the Pokies Deed. The Pokies Barons should simply be thankful that they have a 5 year “rollover” period. A clause that was tacked on quietly at the end of the 2003 negotiations.

    That gives the 8 groups/families who operate 2/3rds of Pub Pokies 5 years to rip more money out and make the transition from being Pokies Barons to simply being Pub Barons.

    Pat Caplice
    Rein in The Pokies

  4. TGC

    September 14, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    #1 “We need to force them (politicians) to make an open and clear stance before the polling begins …”
    Should that also SSM Postal Ballot- are we entitled to know prior the ‘legislation’ which would follow should there be a ‘Yes’ majority returned?
    Or is that a a different thing altogether?
    TT experts on this (these) subjects, please respond

  5. Tony Stone

    September 14, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    Politicians will say anything to get their way or deceive the people, simply because there is no accountability for anything they do, or say. They can destroy business, the environment, collude with monopoly companies who are destroying our society and environment, yet nothing will or can be done to them.

    The gambling debate is just another example of the dept of corruption within our political system. Claiming they will buy back pokies, is just another means of handing the gambling monopoly more of the people’s money. No different to how they fed Gunns, Coles, Woolworths and all their donating vested interests.

    It won’t matter which party is in power, things will continue as they are now and nothing will change.

    Decent politicians and parties would never have let this happen, but the parties don’t care. So we can only change the gambling status quo by getting rid of the current political parties and even better current political system.

    You don’t have to change gambling licensing, just introduce a tax of 85% on all gambling turnover and make it mandatory to have live music and entertainment in every venue during the times when pokies and other gambling methods are operating.

    That would reverse the trend very quickly, but that won’t happen because when it comes to election everyone will vote for the status quo, as usual.

  6. Stephen Menadue

    September 14, 2017 at 9:07 am

    I’ve been on pretty much all sides of the dynamics caused by pokies addiction.

    From the beginning of the chain which is being the feeder of the machine to being addicted to its allure despite knowing it’s nearly always a lose/lose situation to being the one depended upon to bring the money into the home to being the one waiting for the addict to bring that money home to standing on the outside as a non gambler and seeing just how nasty the symbiosis is between the machine(and master) and the feeder.

    I understand little about politics but to hear an aspiring Premier say the plan would be to buy the machines back and then keep Tassie pokies free made me feel really good. I’ve been told that, technically, the statement really didn’t count or didn’t mean what the words implied, or should I say, stated.

    Can a maker of a promise be sued if they do not live up to it?

    The gut wrenching feelings of disappointment, anger, betrayal and despair create a world around the affected (who NEVER go near an E.G.M) that is heavy and dark. THIS is what should be at the centre of any decisions made by those who can execute those decisions.

    It really is much worse than any tv commercial can show.

  7. Simon Warriner

    September 14, 2017 at 8:57 am

    re 3, party politicians are immune to cognitive dissonance brought on by conflicted interest. If they were not, they could not be party politicians.

    That is why they happily look at themselves in the mirror without loosing their lunch Phillip.

  8. PHilip Lowe

    September 14, 2017 at 7:03 am

    hey you guys.heads up to what is happening in the UK over concerns re gambling addictions.UK government is having a very close look at the damage done by this social poison.Do your politicians have a shred of social conscience?,or are they so in hock to the gambling industry that they can still look in the mirror and ignore what they see?

  9. TV Resident

    September 13, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    I can’t see the lib/labs doing anything to upset one of their major donors. We are pretty much governed by Tassal, FT, the Farrell family and anyone else who pays big money to them. We are just the experimental bunnies whom they need at election time, although our questions are ignored. I have NO faith in political parties whatsoever, they promise one thing and do another.

  10. Ted Mead

    September 13, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Keep writing James, and keep the pressure on the the Lib/labs and push them into a corner all the way to the ballot box on election day.

    We need to force them to make an open and clear stance before the polling begins so the public knows how politicians intend to ameliorate the pokies debacle!

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