Key posts

  • Pokie reform not in major parties’ sights
  • Leaders spar on integrity
  • The campaign so far
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Pokie reform not in major parties’ sights

Victoria’s powerful clubs lobby says both major political parties have assured it there will be no upcoming policy changes that eat into gaming machine revenue, despite a government crackdown on Crown Casino and pokie reforms in other states.

Andrew Lloyd, chief executive of Community Clubs Victoria – which represents pubs, clubs and RSLs but excludes Crown Casino – said he had received “letters of comfort” ahead of the state election from both Labor and the Coalition, supporting the status quo in the regulation of pub and club gaming.

This is despite recent data pointing to record pokie losses in Victoria for 2022-23 and warnings from gambling experts, federal agency Austrac and Crown itself that tougher rules for the casino alone would push problem gambling and money laundering in pubs and clubs.

“The major parties don’t want to change anything in this space,” Lloyd said. “They want to make sure the systems in place work.”

More on this issue here.

Leaders spar on integrity

Premier Daniel Andrews and Opposition Leader Matthew Guy have butted heads about the powers of the state’s corruption watchdog during an otherwise mild-mannered leaders’ debate, the only one of the Victorian election campaign.

Four days before the polls close, 100 undecided voters gathered at Box Hill Town Hall on Tuesday evening for a mostly calm, hour-long debate.

Daniel Andrews and Matthew Guy shake hands before the start of yesterday’s debate.Credit:Ian Currie

Consistent polls have placed Andrews in an election-winning position, but an exclusive survey conducted by Resolve Strategic for The Age has found the Coalition has closed the gap on Labor.

For much of the debate, Guy avoided engaging directly with Andrews, who seemed at times frustrated that the opposition leader would not argue back. It appeared a calculated attempt by Guy to appear the more sober leader.

Read the full story here.

The campaign so far

Good morning and thanks for reading our live coverage of the final week of the Victorian election campaign.

It’s Wednesday, November 23. That means there’s just three days to go until polling day.

Here’s what you need to know before we start today’s blog:

  • Premier Daniel Andrews and Opposition Leader Matthew Guy went head-to-head last night in what is to be the only leaders’ debate of the campaign. The pair clashed over the state corruption watchdog and the Coalition’s gas policy. Rachel Eddie and Sumeyya Ilanbey have the full story.
  • Legal experts say Labor’s promise to put the State Electricity Commission into the Victorian constitution won’t protect it from future Coalition governments because state constitutions are not like the federal founding document.
  • The Coalition says it wants to redevelop Federation Square to “bring the banks of the Yarra right up to the Hoddle grid”.
  • And police say no offence was committed by sitting independent upper house MP Catherine Cumming over the weekend when she told a crowd of protesters that she wanted to turn the premier into “red mist”.
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