The Victorian Greens have said they won’t be intimidated by the pokies lobby, despite revelations that the Australian Hotels Association donated $761,000 to Victorian Labor as part of a campaign against the Greens during the last state election.
In Parliament on Wednesday the Greens reaffirmed their policy to protect the community from the undeniable harm of pokies and warned that without urgent donation reform, the AHA donation could set a dangerous precedent for the upcoming local government elections.
Victorian Greens spokesperson for integrity, Tim Read, said there is currently nothing to stop the gambling industry from trying the same trick ahead of the local government elections later this year.
To combat this, the Victorian Greens will introduce an amendment to the impending Local Government Bill 2019 which would see donations from the gambling industry and property developers banned in local elections.
Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens spokesperson for integrity, Tim Read MP:
“The gambling industry want to buy influence and they know which parties will take their money.
“The Premier is fond of saying ‘some people go to the ballet, some people go to the footy, and some people go and play the pokies. People are free to make their own decisions’… maybe this explains why he says it.
“For our part, the Greens will not be intimidated by the gambling industry. We can’t be bought and we won’t sell out.”
Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens spokesperson for local government, Samantha Ratnam MLC:
“Our democracy shouldn’t be for sale. To get dodgy money out of local government for the 2020 election the Government must ban donations from the gambling industry and property developers.
“Without reform our communities will continue to be left behind in favour of the self-serving interests of gambling giants and developers.”