ClubsNSW CEO sacked over comments linking premier’s religion to gaming policy
ClubsNSW chief executive Josh Landis has been sacked after making comments linking NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet’s religion to his government’s cashless poker machine policy. Landis apologized this morning after telling The Sydney Morning Herald Perrottet’s stance on NSW gambling reform was the result of his “Catholic gut” rather than based on evidence.
ClubsNSW said its board met today to discuss the comments made by Landis.
ClubsNSW chief executive Josh Landis has been sacked. (Dominic Lorrimer)
“After careful consideration, the board has taken the decision to terminate Landis’ employment with ClubsNSW with immediate effect,” ClubsNSW said in a statement.
“The board recognizes Josh Landis’ exemplary service to the industry over more than 15 years over some very difficult times.
“The board will consider its next steps and has no further comment at this time.”
Independent MPs including Alex Greenwich, Joe McGirr and Helen Dalton called on Landis to resign, while other senior MPs on both sides of politics criticized the comments after the story was published this morning.
NSW Labor leader Chris Minns said there was no place for “that kind of sectarian and discriminatory language in NSW politics”.
Landis previously apologized for the remarks
“The comments were made during a phone call with a journalist late yesterday afternoon, who asked why I believe the Prime Minister is pushing so hard for the introduction of a mandatory cashless system and other gaming reforms,” he said.
“I want to make it clear that I spoke incorrectly in answering the question and should not have referred to the prime minister’s faith.
“This was not premeditated or a deliberate attack on the Prime Minister personally, rather it was a poor attempt to explain that there is a lack of evidence for the policy and the Prime Minister is a moral person who is intrinsically want to help those who harm themselves.”
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet is pushing for reforms to the gambling industry. (Kate Geraghty)
He said he had contacted Perrottet earlier to apologise.
“I would like to take this opportunity to publicly apologize unconditionally for any offense caused,” he said.
Perrottet told The Sydney Morning Herald this morning that Landis’ future was a matter for the ClubsNSW board but his comments were “inappropriate and offensive”.
“Those comments are not an attack on me, they are an attack on every single person of faith in our state,” Perrottet said.
“We live in a tolerant state, a tolerant country, and there is no place for such comments in modern Australia.”
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