Poker Machine Reform

Poker Machine Reform

(Motions, 1 June 2023, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)

At the outset, I thank the member for North Shore for bringing this motion to the House. I acknowledge that she is extremely passionate about this issue, as are members of the Government, the Opposition and the crossbench. That has been highlighted by all members. I also acknowledge the leadership of former Premier Dominic Perrottet in bringing forward what was an extremely courageous policy during an election campaign, one that the member for Lake Macquarie, the member for Wagga Wagga and I were in support of.

We are dealing with a very important and complex piece of law reform that hopefully will finally tackle the State's addiction to gambling. The member for North Shore highlighted the state of problem gambling in New South Wales, something that I know the Minister is fully aware of and seeks to address. New South Wales is the nation's capital when it comes to money laundering. We know a great deal of that is being done in clubs and pubs right across New South Wales through electronic gaming machines, and I am sure we will learn more about that in coming weeks.

The member for Wagga Wagga, the member for Lake Macquarie and I met within days of the Minister for Gaming and Racing taking up his role, and we have met with the Premier a number of times to discuss this issue. I assure all members of this House that the new Minns Labor Government is taking the issue of reforms to deal with gambling harm and money laundering extremely seriously. Ultimately, its policy will benefit from the leadership and courage of the former Premier, Dominic Perrottet, and the work he did on his policy, which was detailed and, I believe, also costed.

We heard in the Chamber today a number of accusations from both sides claiming that members on one side of the House have done one thing and the other side has not. That is politics. When we want to progress important, meaningful and controversial reform—something I have had some experience with—that type of politics does not help the outcome. Consensus building, based on evidence, is how we get a result. My approach to this reform will be to work with the new Government, to work with my crossbench colleagues and to work with the Opposition to make sure that in this term of government we finally address problem gambling, and that we finally address the elements of organised crime that on a regular basis today will be laundering money in clubs and pubs across New South Wales.

This is something that New South Wales, as a State that is often considered to be the law and order State, needs to finally be honest about and finally take seriously. As I said, I am grateful for the focus of the former Coalition Government, but let me put those members at ease: The new Government is taking this seriously. The new Minister is taking this seriously. I want to ensure the Government's trial is a complete success. I want to ensure we have cashless gaming in New South Wales well before the Coalition's policy outlined. I think that is entirely possible.

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