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In support of the Prohibition of Gambling Advertisements Bill 2023

I too rise to support the member for Goldstein's motion to suspend standing orders. Thank you very much also to the minister for his comments there about supporting a debate in future about gambling advertising and online gambling. We need to debate this issue urgently. It is currently a public health crisis. The gambling advertising is all pervasive, and there's no escaping it. It's got to a point where it's causing an enormous amount of harm not only to current generations but to future generations too, because we know our children are being exposed to gambling advertising constantly online, on TV and on radio. So, if we don't act now, we have a huge problem coming ahead of us. Yes, it can be the occasional bit of fun for adults, but for many it is actually a destructive lifetime addiction. There's family breakdown; there's domestic violence. It can cause crime; it can cause bankruptcy. It can cause so much harm and, of course, mental ill health that we do need to act now. We can no longer stand by while we allow this toxic environment to flourish.

I wanted to tell a little story, just very briefly. My husband was a Brumby back in the 1990s. Back then it seemed more of a wholesome game. There were families, there were children, and they were sponsored by Canberra Milk. Last night, I walked past a life-size cut-out of a Brumby who, smack bang in his middle of his chest, had gambling advertising, and I can't tell you how disappointed I was. Sport has been hijacked by the gambling industry. We can no longer sit and enjoy our leisure time without being targeted and bombarded with gambling advertising, and this is a toxic environment that we are allowing our children to grow up in. Worse than that is the online targeting—the individual targeting of our children with gambling advertisements. The information is mined; it is harvested. They are labelled, and they are individually targeted. Young boys in particular are targeted with gambling advertising. What this means for them in the future I can only wonder. They are preyed upon.

It is now a public health crisis. We need to be building healthy environments for our children, both in the real world physically, while we watch TV or we play sport, and online. We know that our communities are begging us to act. They are begging us to lead on this. Seventy per cent of the public wants to completely ban gambling advertising from TV. We did it with smoking, and now we need to do it with gambling. They are both addictive, harmful products. We need to be world leaders in gambling restrictions and building an environment where our children can flourish again.