Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith says that residents in the area have been phoned to take part in a survey biased against the Greens which was funded by the NSW Australian Hotel Association.
‘I’ve had a constituent, who is not a Greens member, call my office to complain about how underhanded she thought the phone survey was,’ says Ms Smith. ‘The resident said that they were asked a series of negative questions about articles about the Greens which were published in the Sydney Morning Herald, and did not reveal that the survey was funded by the NSW Australian Hotel Association (AHA) until the very end of the call.’
Ms Smith says the woman concerned said she lodged a complaint with the survey taker and asked why none of the questions concerned the hotel industry or the negative effects of poker machines in hotels.
‘Clearly this is the reason why the NSW AHA is doing this negative polling,’ said Ms Smith. ‘The Greens have a clear gambling policy to cap all poker machine numbers in Ballina and Byron at January 2019 numbers and to phase out poker machine and other electronic gaming machines in clubs and hotels.
‘Figures from the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority show NSW poker machine turnover has increased a staggering $11.4 billion since 2013-14.
‘The Ballina community lost a staggering $28,144,860 or $541,247 a week on pokies in 2017. That’s money that could be better spent on families and in the community,’ said Ms Smith.
The NSW AHA was not registered as a third party campaigner at the time the polling was conducted, but after a complaint from the Greens, they joined the register on March 8.