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Alexander: Net gambling not UF's doing

Media Statement For immediate release Tuesday, 9 September, 2003

Alexander: Net gambling not UF's doing

Key among United Future's contributions to the Gambling Bill currently before Parliament are the strengthening of mechanisms for helping problem gamblers, MP Marc Alexander said in Parliament today.

"And if that isn't family-friendly, then what is?" Mr Alexander, United Future's internal affairs spokesman, asked later.

"There is all sorts of political humbug and not a little confusion flying around at the moment, so for the record, once again, United Future did not bring the amendment to the Bill that would allow internet gambling.

"It was brought by the Government at the request of the Lotteries Commission, and this was confirmed in Parliament this afternoon by Internal Affairs Minister George Hawkins.

"Our influence on the bill was in some key areas, and it is good to see various parties recognising that.

"Yes, we brought through changes to the problem gambling levy that will ensure tax dollars are spent not only cost-effectively, but in a way that will ensure that those most in need will get help.

"And, yes, United Future secured local distribution of locally-raised profits, which will benefit emergency rescue organisations, sports and recreational clubs and church-based social service providers the length and breadth of this country," he said.

"And had the Greens had their way, that would have been centralised to death.

"Now Sue Bradford and various others are better informed on this matter, their future utterances will hopefully bear a closer relationship to the facts," Mr Alexander said.

"Although, frankly, I wouldn't bet on it."


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