Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

New committee to progress gambling reform

Joint Media Release with:

  • Bill Shorten MP, Assistant Treasurer
    Andrew Wilkie MP, Member for Denison
    Senator Nick Xenophon, Senator for South Australia

A new Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform was established by the Parliament today.

The committee was established to help progress the Gillard Government’s gambling reforms, including the roll out of a full national pre-commitment scheme by 2014, as agreed between the Prime Minister and the Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie.

The ten member parliamentary committee will examine and make recommendations about the Gillard Government’s agreed gambling reforms, including the design and implementation of a best practice full pre-commitment scheme.

As agreed with Mr Wilkie, the committee’s advice will inform any position that the Commonwealth will take to the Council of Australian Governments’ Select Council on Gambling Reform.

The committee will also have a role in monitoring the impact of pre-commitment schemes, including advising on appropriate terms of reference for a future Productivity Commission Inquiry to assess this impact.

The membership arrangements agreed by Parliament for the committee include nominations from Government, Opposition and Independent and/or minor party representatives, in both houses.

It has been agreed that the chair of the committee will be a non-aligned member.

The committee will present its final report to Parliament no later than 30 June 2013.

The Gillard Government will consult widely with industry and community groups, and the states and territories over the next four years on the roll out of our gambling reforms.

We are also establishing a Ministerial Expert Advisory Group on Gambling, including representatives from gambling counselling and support services, clubs, hotels, casinos, gaming machine manufacturers, technical experts, researchers and academics.

The group will provide advice from their members and interested parties to the Government and the Joint Select Parliamentary Committee on Gambling on the implementation of the reforms.

The Productivity Commission estimates that there are between 80,000 and 160,000 problem gamblers. In addition there are between 230,000 and 350,000 people at moderate risk.

Problem gambling destroys lives – not only the life of the problem gambler but also the lives of their families and friends.

Our reforms will help limit the damaging effects of problem gambling, while continuing to let thousands of Australians enjoy recreational gambling in pubs and clubs.