MICHELLE ROWLAND MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS
MEMBER FOR GREENWAY
HON LINDA BURNEY MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FAMILIES AND SOCIAL SERVICES
MEMBER FOR BARTON
LIBERAL GO-SLOW ON CONSUMER PROTECTIONS FOR ONLINE GAMBLING
Four years after the Report of the Review of Illegal Offshore Wagering, and one year after the commencement of the National Consumer Protection Framework (NCPF), the Liberal Government has finally introduced legislation necessary for the implementation of the National Self-Exclusion Register (NSER).
The NSER will allow people to self-exclude from all online wagering sites and apps in one go, and is due to be implemented by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) by May 2020.
A year ago, the Government acknowledged more than 240,000 Australians were already experiencing significant harm from online wagering and called the ability to self-exclude a ‘critical gap in consumer protections in Australia’.
Financial Counselling Australia warned there was a ‘desperate need’ for the NSER and urged the Government to make it a priority.
Yet six months later, under Labor questioning at Senate Estimates, the ACMA confirmed it was still waiting for the legislation to be passed and acknowledged that the May 2020 implementation timeframe was challenging.
Since then, there have been eight Parliamentary sitting weeks where the legislation could have been introduced, but the Government has only just managed to scrape it in now, during the final sitting days of 2019.
The Morrison Government has been in no hurry to protect Australians vulnerable to the harms of online gambling. The ACMA must now establish, trial and test the NSER – which will contain highly sensitive personal information – in just six months.
It’s unacceptable that the Government has taken so long to introduce this Bill.
WEDNESDAY, 27 NOVEMBER 2019