Deputy Premier Rau’s promise today to remove 800 poker machines was first made eight years ago, Shadow Gambling Minister Rob Lucas said today.
In February 2004 former Premier Rann introduced legislation to Parliament and promised he would remove 3000 machines, reducing numbers from 15,000 to 12,000:
“Premier Rann is today taking the challenge up to every MP to support legislation to be introduced into Parliament that will result in 3000 poker machines being taken out of pubs and clubs across the State.”
(Mike Rann, Media Release, 16 February, 2012)
“The Deputy Premier’s release today confirms that promise was broken – nearly a decade later there are still 12,900 poker machines in South Australia,” Mr Lucas said.
“In fact, the number of poker machines has actually risen from March 2009 when there were 12,685 machines.
“So today’s supposed new promise is only a reannouncement of the promise first made in 2004 by Mr Rann and then broken, and over the past three years the Labor Government has moved further away from its target, not closer to it.
“The Labor Government was warned by Liberal Members in 2004 that their proposed trading system of poker machines would be an abject failure and wouldn’t deliver a cut of 3000 machines. However, typically the Labor Government ignored those warnings.
“This reannouncement today shows the Labor Government is continuing with its ‘political spinning’ to attempt to deceive South Australians. It has clearly learnt nothing from the significant community criticism over recent years of their reliance on political spin rather than substance.”