Residents of the electoral division of Rosevears, in the Tamar Valley, will have their say on who will represent them on the Tasmanian Legislative Council on August 1.
Here the candidates share their views on one of the most divisive political issues in the state: poker machines.
The state lower house is preparing to introduce legislation to reform gambling in Tasmania.
This has been delayed due to the disruption of COVID-19, but will almost certainly be introduced within the six-year term of the successful Rosevears candidate.
The announced bill would end Federal Group's monopoly on owning poker machine licences. Federal Group, the privately-owned company of the $463 million Farrell family, has owned the licences for all poker machines in Tasmania for more than 30 years.
This ownership is due to expire in 2023, and the proposed legislation would allow pubs and clubs to own their own poker machine licences.
Pubs and clubs would keep at least 50 per cent of gross returns from gaming, with a tax of about 33 per cent, a community support levy of about five per cent, and annual license fees for each poker machine.
However, draft legislation has not yet been released.
Critics of the proposal continue to call for the policy Labor took to the last election: Banning poker machines in the state to benefit gambling-addicted Tasmanians, especially in disadvantaged areas.
The Examiner asked each Rosevears candidate how they intend to vote, and for their stance on the issue.
With longtime MLC Kerry Finch retiring, six Tasmanians have put their hand up for the seat in parliament: one Liberal, one Labor, one Greens, and three independents.
The successful candidate will sit in the upper house, meaning they will vote on legislation that passes the lower house, and if legislation is approved by them it becomes law.
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Vivienne Gale, Independent
"As an independent I don't like monopolies and I support free markets.
However, an absolutely transparent process for licensing and regulation is crucial. I would be very keen to review the proposed bill in this regard when it becomes available.
It is well documented that these machines cause enormous harm to the community whilst enriching a small minority. Going forward, phasing out these machines would be better for the community."
Janie Finlay, Independent
"As there is not even a draft bill yet, there is no way a reasonable candidate could say how they would vote before they saw the details - unless they were already closed off to the process that would consider the outcomes of the consultation, expert evidence and social and financial modelling.
We can do better, so I support reform. I believe that everyone has the right to engage in any legal activity. However, the exposure draft must respond to expert evidence and demonstrate that genuine effort has been made to minimise harm within our community.
This is a large and complex set of reforms. The minister deferred the reform process in late March and it is now unlikely that it will be considered before next year.
If elected I would take consideration of this bill seriously and consider all aspects of the complex and multifaceted details once they are available to me. That is in fact one of the key strengths I offer as an experienced and independent candidate."
David Fry, Independent
"I am supportive of the state government's proposal to end the Federal Group monopoly on poker machines.
However, I believe that more information on the social and economic impacts of the proposed changes needs to be made available to the public. What secret deals have been done behind closed doors?
It is important for the government to strike the right balance between jobs and protecting the most vulnerable in our community. But the social harm done by poker machines is well-documented and not enough has been done to mitigate it."
Jack Davenport, Greens
"I will vote against any proposal that embeds pokies in pubs and clubs.
"The Greens have consistently opposed the proliferation of poker machines in the community. As a social worker, I have seen first-hand the harm pokies cause to individuals, families and the community.
Poker machine addiction leads to poverty, child neglect, family violence, mental health disorders and suicide.
Those are the tragic, undisputed facts.
It is unconscionable to consider extending the presence of pokies in pubs and clubs. To do otherwise is to prioritise the pokie barons and the gambling industry over Tasmanians.
Pokies have no place in the community.
This is not about choosing to gamble. The underhanded methods pokies use to prey on users, the way addiction functions, and vulnerabilities for those with mental health conditions, all mean it is too easy for people to be trapped in a terrible cycle.
Tasmanians lose about $200 million through poker machines every year.
Since COVID-19 restrictions forced a stop to pokies operations, it is estimated that Tasmanians have saved $42 million. This is money that has been feeding families and supporting local businesses and jobs, instead of lining the pockets of the pokie barons.
In the months ahead, it will be even more crucial this money stays in our community - and not lost by those who need it most.
With more than 20,000 Tasmanians made jobless by COVID, we cannot let the gambling industry suck us dry as it has for decades."
Jess Greene, Labor
"I understand that many people feel passionately about the impact of poker machines in our community, and that for some people this is because of a personal experience.
I support further action being taken to tackle problem gambling, including online gambling.
The Labor Party will always put the health and welfare of people first and I will approach the debate and any amendments to the legislation from this perspective."
Jo Palmer, Liberal
"As part of the government I would support the government reforms for pubs and clubs to gain their own gambling licenses for electronic gaming machines.
While the pokies aren't personally my cup of tea, I acknowledge that many Tasmanians do enjoy them.
They are a lawful form of entertainment for many Tasmanians and people should have the freedom of choice in how they spend their money.
Tasmania is widely recognised as having best practice regulation and harm minimisation measures."