03 December 2013
Andrew asked the Prime Minister about the Government’s plans to overturn the previous Government’s modest poker machine reforms.
Mr WILKIE (Denison) (14:13): My question is to the Prime Minister. Prime Minister, your government wants to overturn the 43rd Parliament’s modest poker machine reforms, so I want to know how all the avowed Christians in the government care so little for Australia’s 95,000 poker machine problem gamblers and the people they affect—or do they just care a whole lot more about the hundreds of thousands of dollars the coalition has received from the poker machine industry?
The SPEAKER: Before I call the Prime Minister, I think the member should rephrase his question. I think to reflect on people’s faith in a question is unparliamentary, and I would ask you to rephrase your question.
Mr WILKIE: I think not only the members in this place but the broader Australian community would like to know how anyone could possibly disregard the welfare of Australia’s 95,000 poker machine problem gamblers and the many hundreds of thousands of people they affect, because that is what will be done if you overturn the 43rd Parliament’s modest poker machine reforms.
Mr ABBOTT (Warringah—Prime Minister) (14:14): I do thank the member for Denison for his question. It was good of the member for Denison, given the passion and the sincerity that he brings to this issue, to rephrase it in ways which are a little less aggressive towards members opposite.
The member for Denison knows what it is like to deal with people on this side of the parliament and he knows what it is like to deal with people on the other side of the parliament. The thing that you can
be confident of with us is that we will keep our commitments, unlike members opposite, who broke their commitment to the member for Denison. We will exactly keep the commitment that we made before the election when it comes to gambling. Firstly, we support voluntary precommitment. Secondly, we support more counselling for problem gamblers. Thirdly, we will implement stronger restrictions on online gambling.