Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania

17 January 2019

Rene Hidding, Liberal Member for Lyons

White’s silence on Labor’s pokies ownership

Rebecca White’s incredible revelation yesterday that she has not once raised the Labor Party’s ownership of pokies with her federal colleagues is another slap in the face for the Tasmanian pubs and clubs who were repeatedly vilified and attacked by Ms White during the election campaign.

Ms White’s Labor comrades in NSW and the ACT own 800 poker machines between them, which will be used to support Federal Labor’s election campaign.

Given Ms White based her entire election campaign around telling Tasmanians that ‘pokies hurt people’ and were a major health issue*, you would expect Ms White to have made it a top priority to lobby Bill Shorten for the Labor Party to get out of pokies ownership.

Yet when she was asked yesterday what conversations she has had about pokies with her Federal colleagues, Ms White said “None. It’s a state issue. We haven’t spoken with them about it at all. It’s not a federal issue and it’s not something that will be spoken about in the context of a federal election.”

This is rank hypocrisy by Ms White and her Tasmanian Labor colleagues. In less than a year they’ve gone from demonising pubs and clubs with gaming machines to backing a pokies owning Labor Party to run the country.

It’s further evidence of exactly what Labor’s internal review into their election disaster has found – Labor’s campaign of vitriol against Tasmanian pubs and clubs was nothing more than a poorly judged attempt to win votes.


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