Claims On Gambling Legislation Rejected

Claims On Gambling Legislation Rejected

Victoria State Government

Statement Re Gaming Legislation Amendments

Victor P Taffa

Claims in the Sunday Herald Sun yesterday that the Victorian Coalition Government is protecting the Minister for Gaming personally through amendments to gaming legislation are false and a misrepresentation of legislation before Parliament.

This legislation does not make it a general offence to insult the Minister.

There is an amendment in the Gambling Regulation Amendment (Licensing) Bill 2011 (at s 3.8.11) which is designed to protect public servants acting on behalf of the Minister for Gaming from serious types of bullying or intimidation in specific circumstances by certain persons relating to the inspection of gaming monitoring systems.

It is important that officials who perform lawful functions under gaming legislation are able to do their work unhindered and free from harassment.

The Minister is referred to in these amendments only because the powers under the legislation belong to the Minister but are delegated to public servants to exercise on his behalf.

Similar provisions already exist in current legislation. The new amendments require the Minister to authorise the use of the new powers.

It is ridiculous to suggest that these laws will in some way personally apply to the Minister or make it an offence to personally insult the Minister.

These laws apply to officials acting on the Minister’s authority.