Our post-election promise

Michelle Wisbey 2018, Gambling, News and Media, Uncategorized

SARC manager Meg Webb talks on a pokies discussion panel after a screening of Ka-Ching!.

Our commitment to seeing poker machines removed from Tasmania’s hotels and clubs is as firm as ever.

We are committed to seeing our communities freed from the devastating harm caused by the easy accessibility of poker machines.

This responsible, evidence-based policy would bring us into line with the rest of the world and with Western Australia, where there is a much lower level of harm from poker machines.

We know that this reform will benefit our state through better outcomes in health, education, employment, justice and community wellbeing.

The state election was a focal point for SARC’s advocacy on poker machine reform, but now that the election has been and gone, we move into the next phase of working to free Tasmanian suburbs from poker machines.

SARC will continue to work actively and passionately for an outcome that puts the best interests of Tasmanian people and communities first.

It’s about the lives that have already been broken and lost through poker machine addiction but importantly, it’s also about the lives we continue to put at risk every year that we leave these proven predatory machines in our local communities.

Volunteers Maureen and Joan collect open letter signatures at Wynyard.

Over the past two months, SARC hosted numerous media events, conducted radio interviews, spoke on panels, launched a series of television, radio and social media ads, handed out hundreds of flyers and fact sheets, and hosted Alliance for Gambling Reform spokesperson Tim Costello as he travelled around the state.

On top of that, last week, we handed the final open letter calling for pokies to be confined to casinos over the Premier Will Hodgman with a total of 6663 signatures and more than 1000 personal comments.

Tasmanians want change.

Polling done in the days leading up to the election demonstrated that poker machines are an important issue to many Tasmanians, with Mercury polling putting it in the top three election issues.

By displacing other perennial issues such as education and cost-of-living as a top priority, it is clear that many Tasmanians appreciate the unique opportunity we have to make a change for the better.

Reverend Tim Costello made a special trip to Tasmania to talk pokies.

The same polling showed that a clear majority of Tasmanians supported the policy to remove poker machines from hotels and clubs, and this support comes from across the political spectrum.

For us, the hard work isn’t over as we now turn to other avenues of advocacy.

We take heart from that fact that this can be an issue that transcends political divides – one that saw a united policy adopted by Labor, the Greens and the Jacqui Lambie Network, as well as drawing a high level of support from those who are Liberal party supporters.

So stay tuned for continued advocacy from SARC on poker machines, because we are committed to continue until Tasmanians can walk down their local streets and not be threatened by the pull of the pokies.

A still from SARC’s TV ad calling for pokie-free communities.

 

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