Senate debates

Thursday, 9 February 2012


Gambling; Order for the Production of Documents

12:50 pm

Photo of Nick XenophonNick Xenophon (SA, Independent) Share this | Hansard source

I note the minister's comments. I did put in a freedom of information request to the minister for details of what documents there are and on what basis the government says it will cost $1.5 billion to have machines made $1-bet-capable. I find it extraordinary that the minister says, 'Well, you're going through the FOI process; we don't need to do this.' I think this is a better process. The parliament and the Senate ought to order the production of documents. The coalition know my views, and we have yet to hear from them what they say about this particular motion. I understand they are opposing it at this stage, and I hope they can reconsider. I have consistently supported the opposition when they have sought production of documents on the minerals resource rent tax, for instance. I think it is the right thing to do in the order of transparency.

I think Senator Di Natale will make reference to the fact that in Victoria there has already been a change of machines from $10 to $5 per bet, and that was done with a minimum of fuss and a minimum of cost. So this order for the production of documents, I believe, has some urgency to it. It is important that we find out, in terms of the upcoming debate on poker machines, what the actual costs will be. I suspect the figure has been plucked out of thin air—or hot air—and I do not see what the problem is in providing these documents as a matter of urgency.


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