Today I moved a Motion of Urgent Public Importance in the Victorian Parliament to force the chamber to debate the serious allegations of corruption and other illegal activity at Crown Casino.
The President of the Legislative Council, the Hon Shaun Leane, rejected the application.
While I am disappointed, I of course accept the ruling of the President.
As part of his ruling, the President made it clear that this matter could be viewed as a matter of public importance. However he was not convinced that the rights of Victorian citizens were at risk. I respectfully disagree.
The President also noted that a complaint lodged by Federal Member Andrew Wilkie was being assessed by IBAC. While it is true that IBAC can investigate the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) – the regulator for Crown Casino – it has no scope whatsoever to investigate Crown itself. I welcome an IBAC investigation into the regulator, however my motion was to debate all of the issues of alleged corruption surrounding Crown Casino and its entities. The regulator is only part of the story.
Following the ruling, I have put my motion on the Notice Paper of the Legislative Council, so I can continue to work with others across the chamber to find a way to have the very serious allegations against the casino operator debated by the parliament.
The public has a right to know what is happening at Crown and nothing short of a thorough investigation following a full debate by the Victorian Parliament should be satisfactory to all.
In the past two decades only a handful of Motions of Urgent Public Importance have been attempted, even fewer have been successful – two of the last three were on the issue of gambling.
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