Legislative Council
Wednesday 19th of October 2016


second reading speech



The Hon. T.A. FRANKS ( 17:43 :50 ): I rise very briefly to reiterate my comments made on the previous crossbench bill and just note again the role of the crossbench in bringing these issues to the fore, but also to address some of the words the Hon. Rob Lucas just made mention of. Yes, the majority of people who gamble, and particularly with regard to poker machines, do not have a gambling problem and do not fall into trouble. The measures here in these bills are actually designed to support problem gamblers, those who have a problem with gambling, without hurting those who do not have such a problem.

Dollar bets: we know that that, according to the Productivity Commission, is one of the key things that we could do to help problem gamblers that does not hurt those who wish to play the pokies. As I say, my mother quite enjoys playing the pokies. Well, she has to push the button a few more times to fill out her time. She will actually enjoy that because she will spend a little bit more time at the poker machine, but for the person who has a problem that dollar bet is actually going to protect them from further harm.

Strengthening barring orders: I do not understand how that could in any way hurt those who do not have a gambling problem but, of course, it helps those who do. How you could oppose that provision in this bill is beyond me. Removing coin dispensing machines from gaming venues: so that those who do not have a gambling problem have to walk a few more steps in support of those who do have a problem—I think those few steps are worth it. Removing both the EFTPOS facilities and the coin dispensing: it is quite simple stuff. These measures are very simple but they would actually have a profound effect in supporting those with a gambling problem.

We know that those problems are quite significant. They lead to people's lives being ruined or lives been lost. Let's take it seriously, let's not stand up on behalf people who, in fact, are not harmed by these measures in this bill—those who don't have a gambling problem—and let's help those who do.

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