Brave leadership on pokies comes when Tasmanian voices are heard

The Community Voice on Pokies Reform congratulates Josh Willie, MLC, and Labor for the brave leadership it is showing on the issue of getting pokies out of Tasmanian suburbs.

“We commend Mr Willie’s statement yesterday that Labor is continuing to listen and has not ruled out taking a policy of removing pokies from pubs and clubs to the 2018 state election,” coalition member and CEO of Hobart City Mission John Stubley said.

“This is quite possibly the first time a major party in our State has been brave and bold enough to take this option,” Mr Stubley said.

“And we know that when political representatives open themselves to hearing the voices across our State—the voices of Tasmanians in the smallest townships, in the largest suburbs and from all walks of life, they get the overwhelming message that Tasmanians want pokies out of their communities.”

Kym Goodes, coalition member and TasCOSS CEO said: “True leadership places the public interest above the vested interests and we finally saw this start to happen in yesterday’s statement.

“We remain very interested to hear the Liberal’s response to the Committee report and its range of recommendations.

“We look forward to congratulating them for also taking time to do the right thing and inform their position on this issue by listening to what Tasmanians know they want,” Ms Goodes said.

“This is our opportunity to change things for the better, and not simply continue the harmful practices of old.”

The Community Voice on Pokies Reform coalition comprises 55 member organisations including local councils, not-for-profit service organisations, peak bodies, church-based groups and many others who see the harm caused by poker machines on a daily basis.