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Rev Tim Costello (Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta)

Australia’s most prominent anti-gambling advocate is disappointed Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has not announced a betting crackdown before the Dunkley byelection to honour the legacy of the seat’s former MP, Peta Murphy. Source: Sydney Morning Herald.

The Prime Minister, who said he has met with Baptist minister and anti-gambling advocate Rev Tim Costello on the issue, this week declined to commit to the full, phased-in ban recommended in Ms Murphy’s landmark report handed down in July last year. Governments typically respond to parliamentary inquiries within six months but the Albanese government has not yet done so.

Ms Murphy, who died from cancer in December, spearheaded a political campaign to clamp down on sports betting advertising, the prevalence of which has become a growing community concern.

Her push for a blanket ban is supported by some Labor MPs and progressive crossbenchers but opposed by sporting bodies and TV companies that get revenue from gambling firms.

Goldstein MP Zoe Daniel asked Mr Albanese on Tuesday: “The Dunkley byelection is this weekend. The late and great Peta Murphy wanted a full ban on gambling ads, saying, ‘It needs to be done, with no room for circumvention.’ Will the government honour her call?”

Mr Albanese did not specifically commit to implementing any of Murphy’s recommendations but said his ministers were “working diligently” through Ms Murphy’s report.

Rev Costello, who lives in the south-eastern Melbourne seat of Dunkley, said the Government should have announced new laws to enact Ms Murphy’s recommendations, which he suggested branding “Murphy’s law”, ahead of the byelection.

“She was courageous and morally clear on sports betting ads and protecting children from grooming. That would be applauded by most of this nation, including people in Dunkley.”

A spokesman for Communications Minister Michelle Rowland, who has consistently said she is committed to harm reduction, said the minister had been meeting with public health experts, academics and harm-reduction advocates.


Australia should have ‘Murphy’s law’ gambling ad ban by now: Costello (By Paul Sakkal, Sydney Morning Herald)