Shadow Treasurer Dr Steve Thomas says Western Australia has been let down by Government oversight of key industries, as evidenced by the McGowan Labor Government’s response to the Perth Casino Royal Commission.
“There is a pattern of ignorance in this Government’s management of both external bodies like Crown Casino and Government Trading Enterprises like the Perth Mint,” Dr Thomas said.
“Today’s response to the Royal Commission highlights this again, with the Government’s own response including:
“The Royal Commission further found that there had been numerous deficiencies in the way the Gaming and Wagering Commission had exercised its power and responsibilities and that the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries had contributed to these failures.”
“At some time in the future when the AUSTRAC investigation into Perth Mint is handed down, I expect to be reading a similar Government line,” Dr Thomas said.
“Failing once might be forgivable, but this failure of oversight is becoming an annual event.”
Dr Thomas welcomed the fact that the Government response supported all of the recommendations of the Royal Commission but noted that some of them were only supported in part or in principle.
“Much of the partial support relates to the potential restructure of the Gaming and Wagering Commission, which the response says the Government is ‘considering’,” he said.
“This restructure is vital to the delivery of proper oversight, and I would have hoped that we were further down the path than ongoing consideration.
“The Government response to recommendation 35 was of particular interest, given it addresses the structure of the Gaming and Wagering Commission.
“It would have been timely for the Government to have proposed a restructure of the Government’s oversight body at the same time as their response to the Commission’s findings.
“That would have given confidence to the community that the Government is on top of the issue.”
Shadow Racing and Gaming Minister Peter Rundle reiterated his calls for regular updates on the implementation of the accepted recommendations to be provided as the changes take place.
Mr Rundle said the McGowan Labor Government must also consult widely on the new legislation flagged today, so all major stakeholders are involved in the creation of the laws.
“The Premier or his Minister for Racing and Gaming cannot be allowed to pick and choose when they apply their ‘gold standard’ of transparency,” Mr Rundle said.
“Proper and diligent consultation must be conducted to ensure the legislation protects WA’s only casino from being subject to regulatory failures.”