The high-profile anti-government campaigns by Big Tobacco and the gambling lobby mark a new low in public debate for Australia, writes Ben Eltham.
The Productivity Commission’s comprehensive 2010 report outlines the scale of misery caused by poker machine addiction in our community and demonstrates why reform is well overdue. Yet, like the tobacco industry who continue to fight hard against government changes to packaging and the mining industry’s hugely successful campaign against the Mining Super Profits Tax, Clubs Australia have realised that reform can be fought and defeated in the media.
Sectional groups meddling with democracy is nothing new, but will the government be prepared to stare down the standover tactics of big industry lobby groups?
Read Ben Eltham’s article in New Matilda here.