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EOFY APPEAL - FREEDOM FUND
The Truth Of It
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Pages tagged "addiction"
MR: ACL welcomes federal gambling reform
· November 01, 2012 11:00 AM
For release: Thursday, November 1, 2012
The Australian Christian Lobby welcomes the introduction of gambling reform legislation which will require all poker machines to be fitted with pre-commitment technology by 2016, and will introduce ATM withdrawal limits of $250 from next year.
ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said the legislation establishes the important precedent of federal intervention in poker machine regulation.
While the legislation will go some way to addressing the issue of problem gambling in Australia, it is only a small step in the right direction Mr Wallace said.
“Pre-commitment technology and ATM withdrawal limits are an important start, but it will only go so far in alleviating the destructive force of poker machine addiction,” he said.
“Problem gamblers will not be required to commit to how much they will lose, and it will not be difficult to get around the ATM withdrawal limits.”
Mr Wallace echoed Independent MP Andrew Wilkie’s statement that the legislation lays the groundwork for further government intervention and reform in this area.
He joined Mr Wilkie as well as the Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce in calling for mandatory pre-commitment and $1 maximum bets.
“There are 95,000 problem poker machine gamblers who lose $5 billion each year on poker machines,” he said.
“$1 maximum bets would limit losses to $120 per hour, but this is still far more than most problem gamblers can afford to lose.”
“Taking this first step is important, but we must continue the reform to address this national tragedy,” Mr Wallace said.
MR: Bipartisan approach needed to tackle problem gambling
· October 24, 2012 11:00 AM
For release: Wednesday, October 24th, 2012
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has called for a bipartisan approach to reduce problem gambling in New South Wales before considering a second casino for Sydney.
ACL’s NSW Director David Hutt said, “problem gambling is causing bankruptcy, increasing crime, and breaking up marriages.
“Successive New South Wales governments have been addicted to gambling revenues. Problem gambling is destroying lives right across this state.
“New South Wales has one third of Australia’s population and half the country’s poker machines.
“It is time the New South Wales Government articulated a clear and achievable strategy to wean itself off gambling revenues and reduce the number of poker machines in the state.
“This should be the government’s priority, not a second casino.”
Mr Hutt welcomed assurances from the Labor Opposition it would not support the allocation of poker machine licences in any second casino. ACL called for a bipartisan approach to tackling problem gambling in NSW.
by Roy Morgan shows spending on poker machines is up in the last quarter to $2.9 billion, and that ‘expenditure is much higher on poker machines than any other form of gambling.’
The 2010 Productivity Commission’s report highlighted that governments across Australia make about $5 billion a year from gambling taxes and that Australians spend about $19 billion a year on gambling. The cost to problem gamblers was between $4.7 billion and $8.4 billion a year.
“As long as the government feeds the gambling industry, we will continue to see the negative impacts of poker machine addictions to problem gamblers and their families and friends,” Mr Hutt said.
MR: Injecting illicit drugs is never safe
· October 03, 2012 10:00 AM
Wednesday, 3 October 2012
The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed the Victorian Government's rejection of calls for a drug injecting trial in Melbourne.
ACL Victorian Director Dan Flynn said injecting illicit drugs is never safe and that Community Services Minister Mary Wooldridge was right to stick to the Government’s election promise to oppose such a trial.
Mr Flynn said that
by Drug Free Australia into the Sydney supervised injecting facility found that for every user injecting in the “safe” rooms they inject elsewhere a further 34 times.
“Given that every injection is dangerous the proposed facility would not offer any effective protection.”
“Reduction in drug trafficking and drug related crime will only be achieved by rehabilitating addicts towards drug free status, not maintaining them in their addiction,” Mr Flynn said.
“The Sydney facility is estimated to cost in excess of $2.5m a year to run. That money would be more appropriately spent on programs to get addicts off drugs, including funding drug rehabilitation beds.”
A report by Dr Andrew Byrne in 2006 (cited in the Drug Free Australia report, p. 2) into the Sydney facility reveals that drugs regularly injected included heroin, ‘ice’ and cocaine.
Mr Flynn said that there was little evidence from assessments of the Sydney facility that drug users had been effectively referred to programs that helped them end their addiction.
“The message that injecting rooms send is that injecting is ok and can be safe. This is not a message we should be sending out to Victoria’s young people,” he said.
Drug Free Australia’s
of the Final Report of the Evaluation of the Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) reveals that the “overdose rate in the injecting room was 36 times higher than on the streets of Kings Cross."
Australia is obliged by International treaties to reduce demand for illicit drugs.
The United Nations International Narcotic Control Board, in a 2001
“. . . the operation of such facilities, where addicts inject themselves with illicit substances, condones Illicit drug use and drug trafficking and runs counter to the provisions of the international drug treaties.” (Para. 559)
Apart from the one facility in Sydney, no other Australian State or Territory has supported injecting rooms.
“The AMA should not be supporting such initiatives but instead investigating ways to treat and rehabilitate drug addicts,” Mr Flynn said.
“The Victorian Government should investigate the successful Swedish approach to illicit drugs. Key elements of the Swedish model are mandatory drug rehabilitation for those found addicted to drugs and strong policing of street selling.”
Christian lobby supports concerns over State addiction to gambling
· January 20, 2010 11:00 AM
For release: January 20, 2010
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today supported concerns raised over South Australian Treasurer Kevin Foley’s enthusiastic support of poker machines, saying that more attention needs to be given to the devastating impact of gambling addictions on large numbers of Australian families.
ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace agreed with comments made by South Australian Independent Senator Nick Xenophon about State Governments being too hooked to gambling revenues to deal effectively with problem gambling.
“This is not just a problem in South Australia but in all States where poker machines have been legalised and State Governments have themselves become addicted to a revenue stream that represents a significant part of their budgets,” Mr Wallace said.
“The draft Productivity Commission report into problem gambling released late last year showed that gamblers in Australia lose over $18 billion per year including over $12 billion on poker machines. A large part of that take comes from problem gamblers who account for about 15 per cent of regular poker machine players (with a further 15 per cent facing moderate risks),” Mr Wallace said.
“Obviously the taxes from poker machines going to State Governments are huge, and they have a strong financial interest in blocking stronger measures to combat problem gambling. However, painting gambling just as a leisure activity is not appropriate. The social costs for problem gamblers and their families are immense and they need to be given far greater priority.”
Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan on 0408 875 979.
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