For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 30 Mar 2014.
Wednesday was a sad day for people at risk of gambling addiction, their families, and those who worked so hard to secure poker machine reforms under the former Gillard Labor government.
On Wednesday, the Senate passed a bill effectively wiping out the modest reforms aimed at harm minimisation and public health.
Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, said it was clear that Labor and Liberal politicians cared much more about the money they receive from the poker machine industry than they do about the suffering of the hundreds of thousands of Australians addicted to poker machines.
Mr Wilkie denounced such political donations as:
corruption of governance on an industrial scale because no business hands over that sort of money without expecting something in return … the poker machine industry is unconscionable and the political parties are on the take. Frankly they should all hang their heads in shame.
We couldn’t agree more.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.