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NSW Council of Churches calls on Labor and Nationals to support Premier on Cashless Cards

Monday 14th November 2022 Dr Ross Clifford

Press Release - 10 November 2022

The NSW Council of Churches is encouraged by Premier Dominic Perrottet’s recent announcement to commit to implementing Cashless Card legislation for poker machines before the 2023 election.

The Premier made a strong public declaration (SMH 1/11) “We can’t have a situation where people are laundering money or putting their life savings down poker machines ... we need change and I will work with whoever I have to, to make that change.”

“We welcome the Premier’s statement. The members of the NSW Council of Churches encounter the aftermath of problem gambling all too frequently,” said the Council’s President Archbishop Kanishka Raffel. “Furthermore, the hidden exploitation of poker machines for money laundering is deeply disturbing in its implications for our society.”

The NSW Crime Commission’s Project Islington found that “a significant amount of money which is put through poker machines is the proceeds of crime” including money from the drug trade. It recommended the introduction of a cashless card. Such cards are set to become mandatory in Tasmania.

“Loving our neighbour includes protecting them from the temptations and the harm poker machines can cause, as well as the use that criminals are making of them. Cashless cards are an essential step in reducing these risks. They are set to be implemented in Tasmania, and therefore there should be no serious impediment to introducing them in NSW too.”

“The Premier has said he would not stand by as premier while ‘some of our most vulnerable people in our society are throwing their life savings down a poker machine’. We must do better at minimising harm and it should be a priority of every MP to support reform.”

The NSW Council of Churches notes that to date neither the NSW Labor party nor the Nationals have expressed full bipartisan support. We call on them not to delay in fully and publicly endorsing cashless cards and to support the Premier in acting quickly to prevent further harm and criminal exploitation.

 

The Most Reverend Kanishka Raffel

President, NSW Council of Churches

Dr Marshall Ballantine-Jones

Secretary, NSW Council of Churches

Dr Ross Clifford,

Past President, NSW Council of Churches

For media inquiries, please contact Ross Clifford m: 0417 685 201 e: rossc@morling.edu.au

The NSW Council of Churches is a joint peak body representing seven denominations: the Sydney Anglican Diocese, the NSW Presbyterian Church, the NSW Baptist Union, the Churches of Christ NSW, The Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Congregational Churches, the Christian and Missionary Alliance of Australia, and the Christian Reformed Churches of Australia.

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