Treasurer Peter Gutwein says Pembroke electors have a right to know Labor’s policy position on poker machines, given the party is running a candidate in the division’s looming by-election.
The by-election was called when the former Pembroke member Vanessa Goodwin announced her retirement from politics two weeks ago.
On the same day Dr Goodwin officially announced her resignation, a parliamentary inquiry into the future of electronic gaming markets in Tasmania recommended the number of pokies in the state’s pubs and clubs be “significantly” reduced.
The government’s own policy on pokies is to cut 150 electronic gaming machines in Tasmania by 2023.
On Monday, Opposition Leader Rebecca White said she would be detailing Labor’s pokies policy “before the election”.
“I said I would talk to all stakeholders about what the recommendations would mean,” Ms White said.
“Because this is a very important decision and we need to make sure we get it right.”
But Mr Gutwein said Labor needed to explain what it “stood for” immediately.
“You can’t wait until the election because the election’s here,” he said.
“There’s a campaign on at the moment and Ms White needs to explain what her policy is on gaming.”
The Labor candidate for Pembroke is Youth Network of Tasmania chief executive Joanna Siejka.
In her capacity as YNOT chief executive, Ms Siejka made a submission to the parliamentary inquiry into pokies earlier this year, in which she advocated for the removal of the machines from pubs and clubs.
Ms Siejka has clarified that this was not necessarily her own personal view on the matter and that she would soon make her position clear.
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