Greens use Scott to drive a wedge
SCOTT Bacon's decision to quit the Labor Party had been hastened by the party abandoning its policy to ban poker machines from pubs and clubs, according to Greens leader Cassy O'Connor.
Mr O'Connor yesterday took the opportunity to drive a wedge deeper between the two diverging opposition parties - saying Labor would be weaker without Mr Bacon.
"I've got no doubt that Labor walking away from a position of principle on poker machines has contributed to Scott Bacon's decision to leave," she said.
"They abandoned their pokies position and now it looks like Scott Bacon has abandoned the Labor Party.
"And that's a big loss to the Labor Party when you have someone of significant integrity deciding they can't work within that framework anymore.
"It's a Labor Party in Tasmania that stands for very little, as far as we can see, and it'll stand for even less without Scott Bacon in there."
Ms O'Connor said she had not spoken to Mr Bacon about the issue.
"I didn't talk to Scott about their pokies position in any detail at all, other than the debates that we had inside Parliament, but it was very, very clear that he was disheartened by Labor moving away from this position of principle as a result of pressure from the gambling industry and from federal Labor," she said.
Mr Bacon did not raise the poker machine issue with the Mercury on Wednesday, nor did he mention it to Labor leader Rebecca White. His departure has been attributed to personal reasons.
"He hasn't attributed to any particular reason," Ms White said.
"Scott's made this decision for himself and for his own personal reasons.
"He wants to pursue a different challenge, and I respect that politics can be a brutal game at times, and it does take you away from other things.
"He's given 10 years of service to the Tasmanian community and done an outstanding job."