Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Green Lights

When I stepped off the train in Melbourne last week, the first thing I saw was a big poster advertising the latest anti-gambling campaign. It should have made me happy - better anti-gambling than pro-gambling - but instead it made me furious.

You gave us the damn things in the first place, I thought.

But the government has to be seen as doing something. Though with state government revenue from poker machines and Kino nearly as much as $3 billion (in 2006-07), why would they do anything that could genuinely jeopardise this income?

And yet. Despite the 68,000 Victorians who are problem gamblers or at risk of becoming problem gamblers, and the families and communities that breakdown as a result, at least there is the logic of revenue.

But what of Melbourne's Grand Prix? With a loss of $40m per year, it just doesn't make sense. Not to mention the larger environmental implications.

For six years, my folks were involved in the Save Albert Park campaign (whose flag appears top left). At the time, I was younger and didn't understand what they were protesting against and what it all meant. But now I am a tax payer and awake to the injustices of governments, I am appalled that a decision such as the one to renew the Grand Prix's contract in Melbourne would even be considered, in this day and age.

$40m loss?? The irresponsible burning of all those fossil fuels? How could a government today even table such an event, let alone give it the green light?


farmdoc said...

It was Abraham Lincoln who said, in his 1863 Gettysburg Address, 'Government of the people, by the people and for the people'. Where's Abe now when we need him more than ever?

MEG said...

Where's Abe now? Guantanamo Bay, of course.