Congratulations to the ALP election results show gambling reform is a pressing issue in NSW
26 Mar 2023
Statement on the NSW Election, by Carol Bennett, CEO, Alliance for Gambling Reform
Premier-elect Chris Minns and his team are to be commended for leading the ALP to victory after 12 years in opposition. We wish him and his team well as the new government of NSW.
Many supporters of gambling reform may have preferred a different outcome in this election. Some may have been hoping for a Perrottet victory, or perhaps a minority ALP government where the crossbench support for gambling reform might have driven a more ambitious harm reduction approach from the new ALP government. It now appears the ALP will achieve a majority, but that does not mean gambling reformers lost at this election.
In fact, the results across numerous electorates suggest gambling reform can and has been a vote winner for many candidates.
Well over 2,000 voters in the seat of Kogarah decided that the number one issue in this election was gambling reform and voted for whistle blower Troy Stoltz. It is remarkable that an unfunded single issue independent attracted over 4% of the vote in what is now a very strong ALP seat.
Independent Helen Dalton significantly increased her winning margin in the seat of Murray (+ 12%) despite being targeted by an extensive and at times nasty pro-gambling industry campaign across her electorate of Murray.
Other regional independents Greg Piper and Joe McGirr increased their winning margins (+ 3.6%) and (+ 7.5%) on the back of their support for gambling reform.
The inner-city electorate of Sydney elected outspoken pro-gambling reform campaigner Alex Greenwich increasing his winning margin to 12% (up almost 4%).
The sitting Greens who have campaigned on the need for gambling reform also did well including Tamara Smith in Ballina and Jenny Leong in Newtown who both increased their winning margins.
The incoming Minns NSW government have a mandate for change in many critical policy areas, but they should not assume business as usual or fiddling around the edges on gambling reform is in their electoral interests, or in the interests of the people of NSW who they have been elected to serve.
Many members of parliament now know that supporting meaningful gambling reform can be an election winner. At the very least, given the results in this election, we expect the cashless gambling card will continue to be strongly pushed in both the lower and upper houses of the NSW Parliament.
Like many other groups committed to a stronger and fairer NSW, we look forward to working with the Minns government. We remain hopeful the new government will do the right thing by the NSW electorate. And for many voters, that means taking real action to reduce the unacceptably high toll gambling is taking on individuals, families, communities and workplaces right across NSW.
Media contact: Nick Nguyen – 0433 988 257