Greens leader Cassy O'Connor is imploring Premier Peter Gutwein to reveal his plans for the future tax rate on casino poker machines, saying he owes it to Tasmanians to tell them how much it could cost them over the next two decades.
The monopoly deed, which allows the Federal Group to be the sole licenced operator of pokies in Tasmania, expires in 2023. The gaming industry has proposed that the new deed cut the tax rate on the machines from 25 per cent to 10 per cent.
"We are now at day 14 of the Tasmanian election campaign and Tasmanians still don't know what secret deal Peter Gutwein stitched up with the Liberal Party's donor, the Federal Group, over the tax rate that's paid on poker machines in casinos," Ms O'Connor said on Thursday.
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"This matters to Tasmanians because, if the Federal Group gets its way, that's about half-a-billion dollars out of the state budget for the next 20 years. That's half-a-billion dollars not going into hospitals and schools and building new homes.
"It is a critical question that relates to the health of the state's budget for the next 20 years, but also to the health and wellbeing of Tasmanians."
Gaming reform was due to be debated in the State Parliament in the first half of this year. In an interview with ABC Radio last week, Mr Gutwein said the legislation had been delayed but would be released for public comment post-election.
"That policy was dealt with at the last election," he said. "And we will implement that policy."
"This election isn't about gaming reform."
It was revealed last week that Labor had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Tasmanian Hospitality Association, pledging to protect the rights of pubs and clubs to operate pokies, despite taking a policy to the 2018 state election to remove the machines from such venues and instead confine them to casinos.
On Wednesday, a candidate for Labor in Franklin, Fabiano Cangelosi, labelled his party's current position on pokies "wholly abhorrent".
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