Press Gallery Parliament House Canberra
19 September 2017
E & OE
Does there need to be a Senate
inquiry into these Crown Casino allegations?
Ultimately it’s up to the Senate
what it chooses to have an inquiry into it.
But the Minister for Justice, Michael Kennan, has already made clear
that AUSTRAC takes any allegations seriously and will investe those. The other allegations that have been made
fall squarely into the responsibility of the Victorian Government, its law
enforcement agencies and its regulators.
Have you been in contact at all
with the Victorian State Government?
I haven’t been in contact with the
Victorian State Government. But I don’t
have responsibility for gambling, I have responsibility for online gaming. The Victorian State Government has
responsibility for casinos and for poker machines and venues.
These are allegations at this
stage, but given how serious they are, are you concerned that they could be
more widespread across the industry?
We have a federal system of
government in Australia where there is divided responsibilities. And the states
have responsibility for the licensing of casinos and for the licensing of poker
machines. And I am sure that all state
jurisdictions take those responsibilities seriously.
Just moving onto the citizenship
changes. Does the government have any
chance of reviving these reforms?
I will leave matters to do with
next steps in relation to that legislation to Peter Dutton.
And where are we with regards to
the reforms with the ABC?
We’ve introduced into the
Parliament legislation to put the words fair and balanced into the ABC Act,
alongside the existing requirement to be accurate and impartial. We have also introduced legislation into the
Senate to put the words rural and regional in the ABC’s charter to have
explicit recognition of the ABC’s responsibility. And with all legislation that we bring before
the Parliament I will be working hard to convince the majority of my colleagues
to support these good propositions.
What’s the feeling at the
moment? Do you believe you have the
support of most of them?
Well we will find out. There are already predictions that we won’t
be successful. But those same
predictions were made before the ABCC legislation. Which we passed. They made the same predications before the
school education reform legislation. Which we passed. They made the same predications before the
media reform package. Which we passed.
So we have got a pretty good track record. And we will be making the case to the colleagues.
Are you unfairly targeting the
Well the ABC receives more than $1
billion of taxpayer funding every year. It’s
appropriate that there is good transparency.
And it’s appropriate that the public have high expectations for the
public broadcaster. And that is what our
legislation is about.