House debates

Tuesday, 7 February 2023

Questions without Notice


2:49 pm

Photo of Andrew WilkieAndrew Wilkie (Clark, Independent) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. Prime Minister, the Productivity Commission recommends mandatory poker machine precommitment to address gambling addiction, and the New South Wales Crime Commission recommends the system be cashless to reduce money laundering. To that end, and to their great credit, the Tasmanian and New South Wales governments have committed to mandatory cashless precommitment poker machine cards. Prime Minister, this is a watershed moment. Will you seize it? Will you take the lead and drive deep reform nationally?

Photo of Anthony AlbaneseAnthony Albanese (Grayndler, Australian Labor Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Clark for his question and recognise his genuine position over a long period of time in public office on these issues. Everyone in this place knows the damage problem gambling can cause to families and to communities. Everyone also knows, tragically, that too often it's those who can least afford it who are impacted by it. And the stats tell the story that on a per capita basis we have higher gambling losses than any other country in the world. We know that the number of people experiencing gambling harm has increased as well over the last decade.

As the member knows, though, states have responsibility for these issues. The member raises Tasmania and New South Wales as examples. The WA government has measures in place as well—very strong measures. These are decisions for state governments, but the federal government does have a role when it comes to gambling. My government is working with state governments in a cooperative fashion. The Minister for Social Services has convened the first meeting of state and territory ministers with the Commonwealth that has been convened since 2017 about online wagering. They'd just stopped meeting, stopped considering these things for most of the last two terms of parliament.

Together we're working on strengthening the National Consumer Protection Framework for Online Wagering, which the Commonwealth does have responsibility for. We recognise that there is more work to do. In addition to that we've supported a House of Representatives committee to conduct an inquiry into online gaming, and we'll consider the recommendations from this committee after it has reported. Certainly I look forward to working with the member for Clark and other members, not just of the committee but of the parliament, on these issues.