Australia Just how much does Dan Andrews love the gambling industry?
Sky News' Peta Credlin launches another attack on Daniel Andrews
Credlin has challenged Mr Andrews to not only release his own phone records but that of his key ministers and staff, including his chief of staff Lissie Ratcliff. © Provided by Daily Mail Peta Credlin challenged Mr Andrews to not only release his own phone records but that of his key ministers and staff, including his chief of staff Lissie Ratcliff (pictured) © Provided by Daily Mail Peta Credlin (pictured on Friday) had some tough questions for Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews in her first press conference as a member of the media 'He shouldn't need to be asked to do this by the inquiry.
Victorian Racing Minister Martin Pakula’s decision yesterday to allow hundreds of “connections” to attend horse races while the rest of Victoria remained in a slightly ameliorated lockdown — a decision hastily reversed after a social media explosion — is only the latest indulgence afforded to the animal racing industry by a government totally captive to it.
Whole industries in Victoria have been shut down to prevent the spread of infection; others, such as construction, which have had little or no infection, have had to significantly restrict operations. But horse and dog racing have been allowed to continue, albeit without crowds, right through the pandemic even as Victorians were subjected to a curfew and a five-kilometre radius for travel.
Victoria records more 12 cases of coronavirus, one death
Victoria has recorded 12 more cases of coronavirus in the past day and one more death. © Justin McManus The Age, News, 10/09/2020 picture Justin McManus. The Premier, Daniel Andrews 100th consecutive press conference on coronavirus. The numbers bring Victoria's 14-day average to 10.4.Melbourne cannot reach its target to take the next step out of lockdown, but some restrictions will be eased next Monday.The decision has frustrated retailers, who argue they should be allowed to open.
On August 3 Premier Daniel Andrews even omitted racing from the “non-essential” industries that would be forced to stop operating. In doing so, he admitted that horse and dog owners would butcher their animals if they weren’t allowed to race them: “There are some very significant animal welfare challenges there.”
Victoria is, by the way, the least safe state for greyhound racing: it isin terms of greyhound track deaths this year, with 59 so far this year (which the ), as well as 453 major injuries. That’s on top of the thousands of dogs the industry admits are killed every year by owners.
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Andrewsan additional $16 million in May as COVID assistance, on top of more than $100 million it has given the industry for prize money and infrastructure in recent years.
While Pakula was making his ill-fated decision yesterday, the fallout was continuing from revelations in NSW of the extraordinary failings of Crown — now the subject of a major money-laundering investigation on top of the ongoing NSW gaming regulator’s inquiry into its links with organised crime, its lack of money-laundering procedures and awareness, its wholesale lack of oversight by a board big on high-profile names but weak on things like basic governance.
A question that is only now starting to be asked is why, exactly, it is NSW that is carrying out the inquiry into Crown when it hasn’t even opened a casino in Sydney yet and the company’s main operations are in Melbourne and Perth.
Up to 55 New Zealanders slipped into COVID-stricken Melbourne
The embattled premier on Sunday confirmed just 23 of those people have been found since he learned of the debacle. On Friday, New South Wales opened its borders to travellers from New Zealand without the need to quarantine.But by Saturday authorities informed Victoria that 17 people caught a connecting flight into Melbourne, where borders are not shut to domestic travellers despite the state grappling with a second wave of COVID-19.That number has since been inflated to 55.
It’s clear that the Victorian gaming regulator, the Victorian Commission for Gaming and Liquor Regulation, has completely failed in its most basic functions.
This is a regulator that hasn’t been asleep at the wheel. There is no vehicle at all, and the regulator is deep in a coma. As the AFR’s, the body has few staff and no powers.
Yet even as we learnt of Crown’s links with organised crime figures last year, Andrewsthat the Victorian regulator was perfectly fine. “They’ve got the powers that they need,” he said. He dismissed criticism of the trivial fines the regulator had levied on Crown — $150,000 for poor record-keeping — by saying the “real punishment is about your record and your good name”.
The racing industry has its own links with organised crime. Afound organised crime was rampant in the Victorian racing industry and there’s little evidence things have improved in the 12 years since, which have included the murder of , allegations of , stewards and about a third of industry participants .
Yet the Andrews government continues to give it special treatment, even to the point of alienating an electorate already grumpy with persistent and increasingly unnecessary restrictions.
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New South Wales-Victoria border could remain shut for WEEKS .
While Gladys Berejiklian's government pushes for borders with Queensland to reopen, the premier has idled on the prospect of free travel over state lines from Victoria. The delay casts doubt over whether Victoria was able to properly implement contact tracing if there was a spike in cases following a catastrophic second wave after the virus escaped from two quarantine hotels in July and infected thousands.