A retired Legislative Council member says the debate over gaming reform has proven his fears over a Liberal-Labor majority in the upper house as they continue to combine to wave through the bill and reject amendments.
The narrow success of Liberal candidates Jo Palmer and Nick Duigan in Rosevears and Windermere respectively - neither of whom have spoken during the pokies debate - meant the major parties had a combined one-seat majority for the first time.
The six independents and outgoing Labor MLC Bastian Seidel have repeatedly voted in favour of amendments and for greater scrutiny of the bill, only to be defeated by the Liberal-Labor majority.
Former Windermere MLC Ivan Dean said the situation would result in weakened legislation for Tasmania.
"It would have been totally different without a party majority, a lot of those amendments would have gotten through. Most of the independents can see right through this legislation," he said.
"It could've gone to a committee which may have delayed it until early next year, but it would have been much better legislation."
The differential in pokies tax rates for Federal Group's casinos compared with pub and club pokies was an issue that Mr Dean was particularly concerned about, but one that will not be further scrutinised.
He said voters should look at the debate as an example of why the upper house should have an independent majority.
"What you'll have here is the Liberal party negotiating strongly with Labor over contentious legislation that will align closer with where Labor want to go, just to get it through," Mr Dean said.
"The independents are now a side issue, the Liberal party won't negotiate with them."
He said the upcoming anti-protest legislation and bills on fisheries and forestry were areas that the Liberals and Labor would reach agreements over.
On the pokies bill, Labor finance spokesperson Dean Winter outlined the party's harm minimisation suggestions which were instantly adopted - albeit only as considerations - by the government before the bill passed the lower house.
Once in the upper house, Labor members - apart from Dr Seidel - have spoken minimally on clauses and amendments.
Next year, upper house elections will take place in Huon to replace Dr Seidel, McIntyre which is held by independent Tania Rattray, and Elwick which is held by Labor's Josh Willie. Independents would need to win in all three to shift the balance back to independent majority.
Debate continued on Tuesday, including the major parties rejecting an attempt to have signs on each machine outlining how they could be addictive, to give the minister power to issue directions to the Gaming Commission to be published and to review penalties for enforcement.
The parties did agree to an amendment that would require a 12-month review after the introduction of simulated racing and automated table gaming, after Labor MLC Sarah Lovell signalled her support.
What do you think? Send us a letter to the editor:
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: