Page 3201 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 23 August 2017

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What is truly extraordinary is that those opposite would dare to accuse the government of being for sale when they have demonstrated on multiple occasions that their policies are written by their donors. In the lead-up—

Mrs Jones: Like what?

MR PETTERSSON: Thank you for asking, Mrs Jones. In the lead-up to the last election, we saw the Liberal Party abandon its longstanding policies on the casino for some big buck donations from the Canberra clubs community. That is right; the Liberal Party, the people in this chamber trying to accuse Labor of being dodgy, cannot even keep their story straight when it comes to pokies in the casino. Who would have thought that it would take only a couple of donations to an anti-Labor campaign from Canberra clubs to get the Liberals singing their no pokies in the casino song?

We all know that the Canberra Liberals actually support pokies in the casino. They did when they were last in government and they did until there were donations on the line. I note that everyone has gone quiet on their side. I know we might be going down memory lane to think back to the last time the Canberra Liberals were given any authority in this place. In their time in government, however, they were very clear in their policy on this matter. Some might even suggest that their view back then, supporting pokies in the casino, had something to do with the sizeable donations the casino made to the Carnell government, but we will let others judge that.

The Carnell government was a while ago. For those interested on the other side, I think I was actually getting ready for kindergarten. What were the Liberals saying more recently? Funnily enough, we have seen this issue raised by a number of Liberal MLAs in recent times. Mr Hanson seemed to be very concerned that the lack of pokies in the casino put Canberra at a competitive disadvantage. How very noble of him!

Those concerns of the Canberra Liberals disappeared, however, when the clubs came along with their cheque book to bolster their shot at government. Let us not forget Mr Parton, who is wide awake on the other side of the chamber. He is ready to go: the infamous, the famous shadow minister for gaming and racing, famous for his Facebook videos. I enjoy watching them, Mr Parton.

Back in 2008 when he was a Liberal Party sleeper cell, Mr Parton advocated for getting pokies into the casino. As late as 2010, Mr Parton was still advocating for pokies in the casino. But, in 2016, when Mr Parton comes in from the cold and reveals himself as a Liberal Party operative, he does a complete 180. He was pokie-Parto then but it seems like he is pay-cheque-Parto these days. Again, I am sure this policy change had very little to do with the clubs bank rolling an anti-Labor campaign. I am sure Mr Parton has a compelling reason for his views on this matter changing overnight. The Liberals have been both for and against pokies in the casino, but this seems to be dictated purely by their donations.

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