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Welcome to the latest edition of Clark Matters, my monthly email newsletter to help keep you abreast of federal politics and what I’ve been up to.

Macquarie Point Stadium

It is simply bizarre that the Tasmanian Liberal and Federal Labor governments are apparently committed to funding a new stadium at Macquarie Point. We already have two quality stadiums in UTAS Stadium and Blundstone Arena that are suitable bases for a Tasmanian AFL team.

I, like many Tasmanians, would like an AFL team. But there are so many more pressing issues and as I go about my work in the community I am hard pressed to find many people who support the proposal. We have more than 4,500 people on the housing waiting list, the least affordable rental market in the country, a health and aged care system on the brink of collapse, chronic underfunding of education and crushing traffic congestion. But apparently the top priority is a colosseum to entertain the masses and that is unconscionable.

Online gambling credit card ban welcome

The Federal Government’s proposed ban on the use of credit cards for online gambling is excellent news. Obviously gamblers should only be allowed to gamble with money they actually possess, and the fact that online gamblers have been allowed to use borrowed money at exorbitant interest rates is unfathomable.

This reform will have strong public support and needs to be implemented as quickly as possible. Further consultations with stakeholders, already flagged by the Government, are hardly necessary and must not slow down the process of legislating and implementing the ban.

The importance of this reform should not be underestimated. Although the proportion of online gamblers using credit cards is in the minority, they include a disproportionate number of gambling addicts and are the people most in need of harm minimisation measures like this.

Reform for Australia’s migration system

I am encouraged by the reforms proposed by the Federal Government’s migration review after it found Australia’s migration system was not fit for purpose with an over reliance on temporary migrants. The fact we are failing to attract the most highly skilled migrants and risk creating a “permanently temporary underclass” vulnerable to exploitation is a blight on our society.

That the Government will raise the minimum salary an employer must pay to bring a skilled worker to Australia, provide new pathways for people working in sectors with shortages, use expert assessments from Jobs and Skills Australia of Australia’s skills needs and tighten rules around who can come to study, will go a long way in fixing this.

This an opportunity for significant reform, but the devil is in the detail and we will need to see how it is implemented.

Yours sincerely