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Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, said the revelations today about secret dealings between the Government and Federal Group about its poker machine tax cut confirmed an alarming corruption of governance.

“The State Government promised a $250m taxpayer-funded gift last Christmas to a political donor,” Mr Wilkie said. “This is legalised corruption and even more so when you remember that very same donor had been allowed to write its own poker machine policy.

“Seems the only people kept out of the loop were the community who went to the polls this year deliberately kept in the dark.

“The Government does not have a mandate to bankroll the poker machine industry and needs to put this to the voters.

“A referendum is the only honest way to determine the future of poker machines in Tasmania. This should be our decision, not the industry that profits from them or the politicians who profit from the industry.

“The community decided whether Tasmania should have the country’s first casino more than 50 years ago. So why can’t we decide whether we even want poker machines in the first place, and if we do who should operate them and how much they should be taxed.”