Abolition Of State Government Through The Backdoor

Abolition Of State Government Through The Backdoor

Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett

Commonwealth Threat To Introduce Pokies In WA

Victor P Taffa

All West Australians should be concerned over plans for a Federal takeover of Pokies.

Premier Colin Barnett said WA had a long-held and bi-partisan opposition to Poker Machines which could be overruled if the Federal Government pushed ahead with plans to regulate gambling across Australia.

The Premier was reacting to legal advice released by the Federal Government on Tuesday which confirmed the Government had the Constitutional Powers to enforce changes through taxation and corporation law.

“Other States have allowed pokies in clubs and pubs, resulting in all the financial and social problems and family breakdowns that go with them.” Premier Barnett said.

“If the Federal Government tried to use corporation power to regulate gambling, they risk creating one set of rules across Australia thereby allowing pokies in WA.”

“I am very concerned by this move, as should all West Australians.” Premier Barnett said.

The Premier said there was also public finance issue to the Federal Government’s Plan.

“The other States have become financially dependent on gambling revenue, essentially through pokies. Queensland collects $964 Million, Victoria collects $1.722 Billion and New South Wales collects $1.8 Billion.” Premier Barnett said.

“WA with its no pokies policy derives only $279 Million in gambling revenue of which $133 Million is from Lotterywest. Casino Tax is only $112 Million.”

“If WA becomes dependent on gambling taxes, the clear consequence is growing gambling problems.”

“The current mess of Commonwealth-State financial relations is also a factor.” Premier Barnett said.

“The other States which rely on gambling suffer no cuts in the GST because of gambling revenue. On the other hand, WA has its GST share cut because we have Mining Royalty income.”

“WA’s strong economy and its principled stand against gambling is penalised and the gambling States are rewarded. That is hardly logical or fair.” Premier Barnett said.

Poker Machines were introduced on a large scale in New South Wales with the Development of Leagues Clubs in the 1950’s. Poker Machine Revenue in New South Wales went towards Rugby League Clubs at the expense of building a Football Club Membership Base.

However the Gambling Problem that now exists in the Community was not widespread as issues such as Trading Hours and Pokies in Pubs were not prevalent.

Victoria for many decades opposed the introduction of Poker Machines and as such Football Clubs earned Revenue from other sources including widespread Membership of Football Clubs.

The Carr New South Wales Labor Government expanded Poker Machines in Pubs and increased Taxation Rates for Clubs which almost drove many out of existence. The Labor Party that used to represent workers throughout Australia and supposedly the Party with a Social Conscience are now addicted to Revenues that destroy people’s lives such as Poker Machine Revenue.

Editor Victor P Taffa is not a wowser or a teetotaller. What is of concern is the ongoing financial encroachment of Canberra and its addiction to Revenue at the expense of State Government’s. This approach is simply an abolition of State Government’s through the backdoor and must be resisted at every turn.

Not only should the measures of the Federal Government be resisted but The Northern Territory be granted Statehood and become the State of Northern Australia.