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Senate concerned over impact of problem gambling

Rachel Siewert 23 Mar 2011

The Senate has backed a jointly-proposed motion from Senator Rachel Siewert and Senator Nick Xenophon raising concern at the ongoing impact of problem gambling and welcoming the launch of the Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce.

“Each year we see relationship breakdown, mental health issues, unemployment, debt and financial hardship, theft and social isolation attributed to problem gambling,” Senator Siewert said today.

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Welfare Reform and Reinstatement of Racial Discrimination Act

Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia)(8.34 pm)—The Greens oppose the Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform and Reinstatement of Racial Discrimination Act) Bill 2009. We opposed the Northern Territory Emergency Response. We opposed that process and we oppose this flawed bill. There is no proof that income management works. There is no hard evidence at all. To claim that this is implementing successful policy is absolute nonsense. The only hard evidence that is there is that income management does not work.

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Indigenous Communities

Senator SIEWERT (2.22 pm)—My question is to Senator Evans, the Minister representing the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous

Affairs, Ms Jenny Macklin. I refer to the minister’s comments today on income quarantining. Does the minister consider that all welfare recipients squander their payments on alcohol, drugs and gambling? On what evidence does the minister make the claim that income support recipients are wasting their money on alcohol, gambling and drugs?

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Greens options paper calls for national action on problem gambling

On the eve of the release of the Productivity Commission's draft report into gambling, the Australian Greens have released a strategy paper with five measures to address problem gambling which can be implemented immediately by the federal government.

Greens spokesperson on gambling, Senator Rachel Siewert called on the federal government to use its constitutional powers to intervene on this issue and implement these measures which have broad community and academic support.

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Greens expose Play School alcohol and pokies link

Greens Senator for WA Scott Ludlam is demanding to know why the ABC is holding Play School concerts in clubs with alcohol and poker machines.

Senator Ludlam quizzed the ABC’s Managing Director Mark Scott about an advertisement for an ABC concert at a registered club in NSW, in Senate Estimates earlier this week.

“I was dismayed to learn that the ABC is forging this association between Play School, alcohol consumption and pokie machines,” Senator Scott Ludlam, who is also the Greens’ Communications Spokesperson, said.

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Poker Machine Harm Minimisation

Rachel Siewert 11 Nov 2008

This inquiry heard extremely compelling evidence around the impact of problem gambling on individuals and on Australian families and of the significant harm caused by electronic gaming machines-commonly known as EGMs or poker machines. The inquiry also heard evidence of the increase in addiction, particularly of young women, which coincided with the introduction of electronic gaming machines.

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Urgent action required on problem gambling

Rachel Siewert 10 Nov 2008

The Australian Greens are calling for the urgent implementation of reforms to tackle the growing social impact of problem gambling and the significant harm caused by poker machines.

"Evidence given to a recent Senate Committee showed that poker machines are an issue for 85% of all problem gamblers in Australia, with up to 50% of revenue coming from 2% of users. The willingness of Governments and industry to help these people has a clear conflict of interest, given the obscene amount of income they generate," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

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Australian Greens Budget Reply

The arctic ice and the Saudi Arabian oilfields seem a long way from Australia and Prime Minister Rudd's 2008 budget. But they should be at the forefront of our minds as we consider what a real leader, a leader contemplating the state of the world and the wellbeing of all people, would have delivered for our nation in his first budget. Leadership means having the courage and imagination to face up to the challenges of the time and to formulate a vision worthy of the people, their future and the situation in which they find themselves.

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