Posted on 28. Oct, 2011 in News

The Baillieu Government has again failed to live up to its own rhetoric with the creation of its so called “independent” Responsible Gambling Foundation, Shadow Minister for Gaming Martin Pakula said today.

“Gaming Minister Michael O’Brien promised a Responsible Gambling Foundation that would be independent from Government, but now Victorians have learnt this is not the case,” Mr Pakula said.

“Mr O’Brien chooses the chairperson, he chooses the deputy chair, he chooses the CEO, and two more Government MPs will be chosen as board members.

“The Board can’t put together a business plan or vary the business plan without consulting the Minister, and the Foundation’s budget is totally reliant on the whims of the Government of the day.

“If that’s independent, I wonder what a dependent foundation would look like.”

Mr Pakula said what was more concerning was the Minister’s explicit prohibition on the Foundation having any policy or advocacy role.

“The Baillieu Government promised a Foundation based on the Vic Health model, but again their commitment is not being delivered,” he said.

“What makes Vic Health so effective and respected is its policy work and health advocacy.

“Unfortunately, this Government also refuses to commit funding to the Responsible Gambling Advocacy Centre once the previous Government’s funding expires.

“So it’s very likely that from mid 2012, no organisation will be funded to conduct responsible gambling advocacy.

“Without wanting to insult the Minister, it seems that this is another promise, like his sham lobbying ban, where there is a massive gap between rhetoric and reality.”





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