Posted on 11. Oct, 2011 in News

The Baillieu Government’s so-called ban on lobbying for gaming licences is just window dressing, Shadow Gaming Minister Martin Pakula said today.

Under proposed changes by the Government, gaming companies will no longer be able to directly lobby the Gaming Minister for gaming licences. However, the bans will do little to stop backbench MPs from lobbying on behalf of the gaming industry.

Mr Pakula said the Gaming Minister Michael O’Brien waited until the last of the gaming licences had been awarded before bringing
forward legislation to introduce the ban.

“If the Baillieu Government was serious about these changes, why didn’t Mr O’Brien introduce the legislation before awarding the recent licences?” Mr Pakula said.

“Three weeks ago, the Government awarded the Monitoring Licence to Intralot until 2027.

“While earlier this year the Government awarded the wagering licence until 2024 and the keno licence until 2022.

“In fact, no gaming licence is up for renewal for the next seven years.

“The Government could have quite easily introduced this ban at the beginning of 2011, before awarding all those licences.

“The fact they didn’t introduce it earlier demonstrates this so-called ban is just more transparent spin.”

Mr Pakula said described the changes as a “Claytons ban” and nothing more.

“Under these changes, backbenchers can still be lobbied by gaming lobbyists and will still be able to lobby Ministers on behalf of the gaming industry,” he said.

“The ban only applies to third party lobbyists, rather than internal lobbyists.

“And if in a decade from now these easily-avoided provisions are breached, the only sanction that would be in place would be the Minister, at their discretion, may exclude a company from a tender.

“So while the Baillieu Government pretends to ban lobbying on gaming licences that have all been awarded, Liberal mates are making a motza lobbying on planning applications across the state. This ban is a joke.”





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