Opposition leader Deb Frecklington
Opposition leader Deb Frecklington

Frecklington: I will halt pokie rises

OPPOSITION leader Deb Frecklington is sticking to her promise to halt Gold Coast increases in pokies which keep climbing under a Labor State Government.

In response to the Bulletin asking Tourism Minister Kate Jones and Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath asking if they would halt rising Gold Coast pokie numbers, a joint State Government statement said a state gaming cap had existed since 2001.

The response attacked the LNP and Ms Frecklington for being part of a previous Newman Government which allowed pokie allocations per venue to rise.

"It is hoped the LNP consult with local clubs before suggesting a cap on the Gold Coast," the statement said, adding: "If the LNP were in power, we'd have a brand new casino with 1500 pokie machines on the Spit.

"When it comes to pokie machines, the LNP can't be trusted. They say one thing when in government and completely the opposite when in Opposition."

GOLD COAST POKIES KEEP RISING

AND RISING

...AND RISING

Ms Frecklington replied: "I've never seen such revisionist rubbish in my life ... it is simply embarrassing.

"Every time this dysfunctional and incompetent government get caught out they bring up the former Premier.

Tourism Minister Kate Jones. Pictures: Jack Tran
Tourism Minister Kate Jones. Pictures: Jack Tran

"I lead a new LNP team, with new ideas and a new vision for the state.

"No more pokies on the Gold Coast is my policy. I am not interested in what other leaders may have done," she said.

Approved electronic gaming machines (EGM) have climbed since August when Ms Jones promised no increases for a Global Tourism Hub (GTH) resort.

Approved pokies in city pubs and clubs jumped 90 by January, passing 6000 for the first time to 6061.

This week the Bulletin revealed nine more approvals to 6070, prompting Opposition MP David Crisafulli to call Ms Jones' promise "pokie hokey".

Ms Jones is standing by her promise saying it related to a GTH only while Ms D'Ath says pokie applications are assessed by the Commissioner for Liquor and Gaming within caps.

Mr Crisafulli said officials administered government policy settings: "The Premier could stop increasing pokies tomorrow if she just issued a direction."