​The Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne last night unanimously called on Federal Parliament to pass the National Gambling Reform Bill this year, Bishop Philip Huggins said today.

Bishop Huggins, who is chair of the Melbourne Anglican Social Responsibilities Committee, and who proposed a motion urging both the Federal and State Governments to persist with gambling reform, said the Synod, meeting in St Paul’s Cathedral Melbourne, represents Anglican Parishes, Schools and Welfare Agencies across Melbourne and Geelong, and “had unanimously endorsed this request to the Parliament.”

"Gambling addiction wrecks the lives of too many individuals and families. The social costs are huge - relationships disintegrate as does the mental health of those affected. The financial costs are estimated at $4.7 billion per annum," he said.

"The National Gambling Reform Bill 2012 will not address all the issues but it is better than nothing. It provides a base for future reforms."

He added: "Our Prime Minister is just back from India. India’s great reformer, Mahatma Gandhi, once said, 'The problems are huge. What we can do seems so insignificant. BUT it is essential that we do it.'

"This is the timeless wisdom for any reform agenda. Reforms which face opposition need persistence and a readiness to make incremental improvements.

"Such is the case with gambling reform," he said.

"Anglicans across Melbourne and Geelong, in partnership with many others, urge our PM to get this Bill passed with Gandhi-like persistence and integrity!

"The Parliament has two more sitting weeks this year. Now is the time to get these reforms passed."


Bishop Philip Huggins 
M: 0418 799 515


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