NICK XENOPHON M.L.C.
NO POKIES MEMBER OF
THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
20 November 2005
Plea by cancer survivor, his surgeon and
In 1998 then 21 year old Phil
Edge began working as a “bar and gaming room attendant” at southern
suburbs pub Mick O’Shea’s. A non-smoker, Phil was continuously subjected to
the tobacco smoke of others, especially in the pokies room were he noticed it
was particularly concentrated.
By June 2001 Phil had been
diagnosed with tongue cancer, with secondaries in his lymph nodes. A 12 hour
operation on the 4th July 2001 involved half his tongue being
removed, and radical surgery to remove cancerous lymph nodes, followed by over 6
weeks of radiotherapy and a 2 year recovery period.
Phil’s landmark case against
the insurer has only recently been won, following 3 year of outright denial of
his claim by SA’s WorkCover Corporation. His trial before the SA Workers
Compensation tribunal commenced on
On Friday the 7th
October (the trial was due to resume the following Monday) WorkCover caved in
and caved in on its demand for the confidentiality agreement. On the 10th
October Auxiliary Justice Olsson made orders accepting Phil’s claim, including
arrears of wages and medical expenses.
Pokies venues in SA and the
Casino aren’t due to be smoke-free until 31st October 2007-
reflecting the power of the hotel and gambling lobby and that pokies turnover
and taxes are expected to fall by up to 15 per cent as a result.
No Pokies MLC Nick Xenophon,
who was contacted by Mr. Edge after he won his case said:
young man has shown incredible courage and principle by refusing to be gagged -
despite tremendous legal risks - so he can tell his story in the hope it will
help others. If only politicians in SA and around the country had just half of
his courage and principle and did the right thing to implement smoking bans in
pokies venues and pubs without further delay.”
Written and authorised by Nick Xenophon, 653 Lower North East Road, Paradise, SA 5075