Citizen Journalism

Posts Tagged ‘Richard di Natale’

Time to shred the old ‘Gambling Action Response’ script, Conroy

In Gambling, Tom Cummings on May 22, 2013 at 12:04 PM
Cartoon by Nicholson from “The Australian” newspaper: www.nicholsoncartoons.com.au

Cartoon by Nicholson from “The Australian” newspaper: http://www.nicholsoncartoons.com.au

By Tom Cummings
@NoFibs Gambling Reporter

May 22, 2013

There’s a script floating around Canberra, called the “Gambling Action Response” script. It’s a succinct little document that gets dusted off and put into action every time someone has the temerity to suggest that maybe, just maybe, we need to do something about the widespread incursion of gambling into every corner of our lives.

Remember poker machines? They used to be THE hot gambling topic not so long ago. There was strong public support for changes to the poker machine industry and the pokies themselves, and the cause was led by a couple of politicians who championed their cause as hard as they could.

Both major parties fell over themselves agreeing that something needed to be done. Committees were formed and hearings held around the country. Commitments were made, only to be weakened, diluted and finally broken altogether. What was offered up in the end was little more than a shadow of the original intent, and even that looks unlikely to come into effect.

And the poker machine industry? They howled and campaigned and agitated, then went very quiet. And now almost everyone has forgotten about them, and moved on to the next story.

That’s the “Gambling Action Response” script at work. It goes like this:

  • Promise the world
  • Create committees and talk about the problem
  • Find reasons not to keep the promise
  • Offer a cut-down, ineffective solution, preferably with a catchy slogan
  • Congratulate yourselves on a job well done

Now the hot gambling topic is sports betting advertising. It’s everywhere, and the public is (for the most part) sick of it. Much of the outrage is directed at Tom Waterhouse but he’s merely the most aggressive, most recognisable face of an industry that is buying advertising space at a rate never seen before. TV. Radio. Newspapers. Trains. Trams. Billboards. Football jerseys. Sporting stadiums. Scoreboards. Train stations. Sporting associations. It’s a relentless onslaught with no end in sight.

The public backlash has been strong and savage, and has not gone unnoticed. All sides of politics have expressed their dismay at the state of affairs and have promised action. Sadly, that promise of action has dwindled to a token attack on the promotion of “live odds”, and has mostly ignored everything else. The Government and the Opposition have both made a lot of noise about banning live odds, and the industry Code of Practice is also being modified to reflect this… but the rest of the sports betting advertising deluge, more than 90% of the advertising in fact, will be unaffected.

Not every politician is playing this game. Greens Senator Richard Di Natale has a bill before the Senate proposing a ban on all gambling ads before 9pm, and a blanket ban on the promotion of live odds. Labor MP Stephen Jones will soon put a motion before caucus proposing a similar bill which he hopes will get formal government backing. Both men have been publicly praised for their endeavours… but Di Natale’s bill drew criticism and condemnation in the Senate, with Liberal and Labor Senators joining forces to oppose it (see details below). It will be another month before it is discussed again but the prospects are bleak.

As for Jones, it is unlikely that caucus will support his proposal, given that Communications Minister Stephen Conroy reportedly drafted the guidelines for the industry Code of Practice updates, to allow bookmakers to keep advertising live odds in sports broadcasts.

Once again, the “Gambling Action Response” script has been brought into play. What started out as a real, effective response to an uncontrolled surge in advertising is petering out to a limp, ineffective token effort which will ultimately achieve nothing. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ashby Inquiry Proposal for Discussion

In Ashby Conspiracy, Margo Kingston on January 22, 2013 at 11:09 AM

By Margo Kingston
22 January 2013

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Two days ago Paula Matthewson, who tweets and blogs as @Dragonista, posted an open letter to the #AshbyInquiryNow campaign people challenging them on their strategy and aims. A stimulating discussion ensued in comments to her piece which showed that engaged citizens on the right, centre and left agreed that it was essential that the truth behind this matter be exposed and its perpetrators brought to account. But how?

After the discussion, I tweeted my idea for a judicial inquiry, endorsed by Paula, to three federal politicians I follow and who follow me – Craig Emerson (ALP), Rob Oakeshott (Independent) and Richard DiNatale (Greens). I had no expectation any would reply. Perhaps due to the refusal of the mainstream media to explore the smoking gun handed to them by Justice Rares in the Ashby judgement,  all expressed interest. As you’ll see, Rob has concerns at how terms of reference could be drafted, and promised to listen to people’s ideas.

The Geek and I feel Twitter has a special opportunity to constructively contribute to getting the truth behind the Ashby court case, a goal worthy of bipartisan support. No matter what your politics, under current law and practice we all are in danger of wealthy, unscrupulous people who want to destroy our lives abusing the legal system to do so. In politics, the use of this weapon could even destroy a Liberal or Labor government. Read the rest of this entry »