Page 92 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 10 February 2015

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this is Mr Corbell as well, because he signed the reg—

should have been aware of the vulnerability of the Labor Party because of its conflict of interest over poker machine funding of their own political party.

The Labor Party has over the last five years received over $2.4 million from the Labor-affiliated clubs.

Going on:

And there was a clear consequential increase in the amount of money that would go into the ACT Labor Party coffers.

The issue of the Labor Party ownership of the pokies is a vexed one. It is an incredibly sensitive one and it requires good judgement. It requires judicious action from the minister involved, and that was clearly lacking. We know that because the Chief Minister has admonished her and the former Chief Minister has now bought into the debate. I will quote from an article of 5 February from the Canberra Times:

According to former ACT chief minister Jon Stanhope, it is a conflict of interest for the Labor Party to own clubs and receive gambling proceeds. …

Former chief minister Jon Stanhope was resoundingly knocked back in his call at a Labor Party sub-branch meeting on Thursday night for the party to sell the Labor clubs and rid itself of its connection with gambling.

Mr Stanhope’s motion had limited support but was opposed by most at the Mount Rogers sub branch meeting.

No doubt they are worried about the money in the coffers coming in. I imagine that the secretary of the Labor Party had that meeting well stacked to make sure that that motion did not get up. The article continues:

Mr Stanhope said earlier that it was morally and politically untenable—

I will say that again for members of the Labor Party who might be here:

Mr Stanhope said earlier that it was morally and politically untenable for the Labor Party to continue to own the clubs and receive money from the proceeds of gambling, given the club group is a big owner of poker machines in the ACT.

That goes to the very nub of this issue and this absolute failure in judgement not to understand the ramifications of that decision. The ramifications have reverberated throughout this community, throughout the media, throughout the club sector and throughout the Labor Party. I can only imagine how popular Ms Burch is for having put this issue on the table again and potentially threatened the cash cow of the money-grabbing Labor Party officials who run their election campaign from the proceeds of gambling.

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