How to Get Labor Out of Pokies

August 17, 2023

The 3 day ALP national conference kicked off in Brisbane today and the two issues getting traction in the media in terms of grass roots activism are opposition to the AUKUS submarines deal and changes to Labor's position on Palestine.

There's a third issue which should be getting a run on this threadbare agenda and to make it easy for the 400 voting delegates, here is the text of a pokies divestment motion which should be moved and seconded without notice from the floor on Saturday and then comfortably passed:

That the 2024 Australian Labor Party National Conference:

# 1. authorises and mandates the divestment of the gambling assets of the Canberra Labor Club and The Randwick Labor Club by no later than the commencement of the next National Conference, scheduled for 2026, and thereafter prohibits any further party participation or investment in the gambling industry.

# 2. Agrees that the Federal party and no affiliated state or territory division is authorised to receive donations from any gambling-industry entity after June 30, 2024, mirroring the party's across the board ban on tobacco industry donations.

# 3. Inserts the following new clause in the party's Federal constitution at part Z(9)<x>#2#

“Commencing January 1, 2027, no division of the ALP is permitted to operate brothels, tobacco manufacturing facilities, cannabis plantations, battery hen farms, armaments manufacturing plants or gambling venues.”

The trick with a successful motion is actually taking the time to draft the words and then putting it directly to the voting politicians to ask if they'll back it.

Surely, there are a couple of brave ALP Conference national delegates prepared to give this one a go from the floor on Saturday when the agenda moves to constitutional reform of the party.

Things are moving fast on the gambling reform and with the University of Sydney under pressure to stop accepting gambling industry funding, surely the Labor Party has enough morals to finally kick their pokies habit.

At least Federal MP Peta Murphy has put up a strong motion opposing online gambling, but Federal Labor needs to deal with the elephant in the room which is their 5 pokies venues in Canberra and Sydney that fleece gamblers of about $30 million a year and have built up net assets for the party of almost $100 million, including the Canberra Labor Club, the Randwick Labor Club and the 1974 Foundation.

They can online divest through a motion at National Conference. Let's not wait another 3 years. The time to act is now.