MEDIA RELEASE - 19 October 2017
Labor takes millions from casinos; fails to support Senate inquiry into casinos
Labor’s decision to not support a Senate inquiry into casinos after two decades of accepting millions of dollars of donations from the industry reflects poorly on Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, Senator Lee Rhiannon, Greens gambling spokesperson said.
“The only thing stopping a full Senate inquiry into casinos is the Labor Party,” Senator Rhiannon said.
“Labor originally committed to voting for the Senate inquiry, but earlier today they reversed their position.
“The motion to set up the inquiry is supported by myself and Senators Nick Xenophon and Jacqui Lambie. When Labor reversed their position we chose to postpone the motion to give stakeholders time to bring Labor to its senses.
“As the vote on the inquiry has been deferred Labor now has an opportunity to reconsider their position before vote is taken next month.
“Labor have to face the question - will they protect casino bosses by voting the inquiry down, or will they do the right thing by the Australian community?
“I urge Labor to resist the temptation of protecting their lucrative political donations stream.
“Since 1998 the gaming industry has declared $3,532,745 in payments to the ALP. Of this amount $2,955,593 has been declared as donations, subscriptions or unspecified. Three key Labor figures Stephen Conroy, Karl Bitar and Mark Arbib picked up lucrative jobs with the gambling industry on retiring from parliament.
“Labor should be working to get to the bottom of the serious allegations courageous whistle-blowers disclosed this week.
“If Labor follows their own money trail the smell emanating from Crown could well envelop them as well,” Senator Rhiannon.