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Debate over a controversial Tasmanian slots bill took place late in the evening yesterday, with Independent Upper House MP Meg Webb spending 6.5 hours on her feet speaking what other MPs have said. called a record speech against the bill.

The Gaming Control Amendment bill marks the end of a 50-year monopoly on gaming licenses in Tasmania held by a company called the Federal Group. The Liberal state government maintains that the legislation will provide an additional $ 8.5 million per year in state revenues for essential services and community needs.

But Webb and other critics of the bill say it is a missed opportunity for reform in a state where gambling interests have long prevailed. They say the tax cuts included in the bill rob the state of millions of much-needed revenue and that the gambling harm minimization measures proposed are inadequate. Tasmanians as a whole lose an average of $ 15.5 million each month at the poker machines.

Webb was scathing in her speech of the Liberal and Labor parties, which she said had a “heart-wrenching fear … if this industry decides to turn against them in a future election.”

The bill will not be investigated in the upper house for further questioning, as its critics wished.

Justifying her contribution to the marathon, Webb said in her closing remarks that she wanted her concerns to be made public so that “there was never a chance to say that there was no reason why we were examining it properly and thoroughly. [bill] globally. “


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New Zealand reported 201 cases of Covid-19 today, the second time the country has cracked 200 cases last week.

All of these cases have been in the North Island, the vast majority (181) in Auckland, the city at the center of the outbreak. There were 85 people hospitalized with the virus, including eleven in intensive care. The total number of cases in the current outbreak has now passed 5,000, reaching 5,196 today.

According to the Department of Health, 90% of eligible New Zealanders (aged 12 and over) have now received their first dose of the vaccine and 80% are fully immunized.

There are still concerns that Pacific Maori and New Zealanders will be the hardest hit by the outbreak, due to lower vaccination rates and younger populations – 76% of eligible Maori have received at least one dose and 59% are fully vaccinated. Of New Zealanders in the Pacific, 87% have received a dose and 74% are fully immunized.

The ministry said in a statement that those who have tested positive should reach out if their condition deteriorates, following several deaths among those self-isolated in the community.



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