The following is a Media Release from the office of Steven Ciobo MP:
16 September 2011 – Labor MPs running scared of their pokie policy
Gold Coast MP Steven Ciobo has slammed Queensland Labor MPs for refusing to attend a “Save our Clubs” community rally.
Mr Ciobo said Labor MPs – Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, Trade Minister Craig Emerson, Yvette D’Ath, Graham Perrett, Shayne Neumann and Bernie Ripoll – are running scared from their mandatory pre-commitment policy.
“They’re the silent seven,” said Mr Ciobo, who is a member of the Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform.
“It’s pretty low not to speak to the people whose jobs are now at risk because of your policy,” he said.
“I was at some of the NSW rallies and they were heated, but at least the NSW Labor MPs had the courage to show up to the clubs their policy is potentially going to kill. The same can’t be said for Queensland’s silent seven.
“If the Queensland Labor MPs think their policy is a good idea, surely they’d welcome the opportunity to speak about it. Their silence says it all.
“The silent seven can only run for so long, sooner or later they’re going to have to face up to their policy and more importantly the constituents they are avoiding.
“The reality is most Labor MPs don’t believe in their mandatory pre-commitment policy and don’t want it.
“The only reason they’re introducing it is to keep Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie happy so he doesn’t pull the pin on the fragile Gillard Government.”
Rather than helping problem gamblers, Mr Ciobo said Labor’s extreme policy could actually make their addiction worse while costing thousands of jobs.
“Under Labor’s plan problem gamblers will be able to set their own ridiculously high limits. How is that going to help, let alone stop, them?
“You don’t fight problem gambling by giving problem gamblers gaming cards.”
Media contact: Ben Dillaway 0409 598 102