Legislative Council: Tuesday, May 03, 2022


Online Gambling

The Hon. C. BONAROS (16:32): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Attorney a question about online gambling.

Leave granted.

The Hon. C. BONAROS: In September 2019—that's almost three years ago—the major parties colluded to pass the Statutes Amendment (Gambling Regulation) Bill, which, as we know, in basic terms was legislation to have note acceptors, the single most effective harm reduction measure, attached to these insidious devices. As part of their so-called support for the bill, both major parties agreed to the establishment of a joint committee into online gambling.

My question to the Attorney is: since forming government, have you sought a briefing by any government official as to the reasons for the delay of the establishment of that committee, and does the establishment of that joint committee remain a priority for this government and you as Attorney?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Attorney-General, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (16:33): I thank the honourable member for her question. Certainly, the harm that is caused by gambling in general, and online gambling specifically, is something we should all be concerned about. In terms of a committee of the parliament, no, I have not sought a briefing from a government official about the operations of the parliament, but I am certainly happy to talk to the honourable member and talk to other members about such a proposal.

I note that it was during the time of my leave of absence from the chamber a couple of years ago that the legislation she referred to passed. I was not involved in the negotiations around the committee, but I am happy to take that up now and perhaps talk to the honourable member about the possibility of doing that in this term of parliament.