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Media release: Gambling industry corrupts government: Anglicans

There are “no clean hands” when it comes to gambling revenue, Archbishop Freier has told the Melbourne synod.

Gambling industry corrupts government: Anglicans

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October 19 2015Gambling income has corrupted successive Victorian State Governments because they rely heavily on gambling income and because the industry has “bought off” the political parties, the Melbourne Anglican synod has been told.

State Gaming Minister Jane Garrett is a fine local member, but apparently uninterested in controlling gambling, according to the Inter-Church Gambling Taskforce, the Revd Dr Gordon Preece said.

Both parties’ loyalty had been bought by massive industry donations, said Dr Preece, chair of the Melbourne church’s Social Responsibilities Committee.

He commended the State Government for its inquiry into gaming machine arrangements but criticised not including problem gambling policies in the review.

Dr Preece attacked the newly introduced Woolworths frequent gamblers’ loyalty card as “an addiction program dressed up as loyalty”.

Melbourne Archbishop Philip Freier said there were “no clean hands” when it came to gambling revenue. “Every time we use a road or a hospital funded by the state, a terrifyingly large amount of that comes from the suffering of people who use pokies.”

The synod passed a motion asking Archbishop Freier to write to Premier Daniel Andrews about its concerns.

It also passed several resolutions on social justice. It commended the near doubling of refugee intake with Syrians and Iraqis but called for this to be rounded to 27,000 by 2017 as recommended by the bipartisan 2012 Expert Panel.

On family violence, the synod encouraged Anglican schools to deliver “respectful relationships training” and expressed its concern about Productivity Commission recommendations cutting Sunday penalty rates to Saturday levels. Such a cut would ignore not only Church worshippers but the community-wide sense of Sunday as a shared social day of rest.