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Labour Betrays Party Faithful On Gambling Bill

Labour Betrays Party Faithful On Gambling Bill


9 September, 2003

Labour Betrays Party Faithful On Gambling Bill

The Labour Party's ruling council has revolted over the Government's gambling backtrack and deal with United Future over the Gambling Bill, Green MP Sue Bradford said today.

Ms Bradford, the Green Gambling spokesperson, has revealed a leaked memo from the Labour Party New Zealand Council that expressed "its very grave concern at aspects of the Gambling Bill that are being imposed on the Government by United Future through a series of anti-family amendments".

The issue is expected to be discussed at the Labour Party caucus meeting today.

"This is Labour's last chance to listen to its own party," said Ms Bradford. "There is obviously a great deal of distress within the Labour Party hierarchy about being betrayed by a grossly anti-family deal with United Future on the Gambling Bill.

"While the Labour Party itself has not lost touch with reality and its constituency, the test will be whether the caucus has strength in its own convictions to reject this foul deal with United Future. They must take this challenge seriously and turn this bill around so that it becomes truly responsible."

The memo clearly rejects amendments promoted by United Future by urging that the bill:

* Not enable the gambling industry to be involved in setting a levy to fund gambling treatment and where it should be spent;

* Not allow internet gambling by the Lotteries Commission or any other New Zealand agency;

* Not allow banknote acceptance in gambling machines.

"Last week United Future were crowing about the 'aces' they had dealt for the Gambling Bill. All Peter Dunne has dealt is a blow to families all over New Zealand," said Ms Bradford.

"Gambling addiction is a problem that affects thousands of New Zealand families, especially those in low income communities. United Future's amendments are grossly anti-family and the complete opposite of socially responsible.

"Church groups, local government, the Green Party and problem gambling groups have been extremely vocal about their concerns with United Future's amendments to the Gambling Bill. Now the Labour Party itself has backed our position to provide communities with effective control over the location and amount of gambling venues and the distribution of profits back into the community.

"We would be very happy for the Government to come back and talk to the Greens so together we can put some responsibility back in the Gambling Bill," said Ms Bradford.

ENDS

TO VIEW THE MEMO SEE…
Greens Issue Leaked Labour Party Cl Memo

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