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  1. 1

    lesley barclay

    This is a thoughtful and worrying article! I share the author’s concerns. To add stature through leadership of an industry that many of us find problematic socially as well as from a public health point of view is alarming.

  2. 2

    Kate Sommerville

    Halton’s acceptance of the appointment is blatantly unethical.
    However, when you have informed politicians from both sides keeping quiet about gambling harm because that is the party line, Halton’s approach is not so surprising.
    She would no doubt receive substantial financial rewards as well.

    1. 2.1

      Melissa Stoneham

      Hi Kate
      We are not privy to the income for Ms Halton as yet but according to the Crown Annual Report, the 2017 fees and salary for Dr Horvath (ex CMO for Australian & NHMRC Chair was $276 282.

  3. 3

    tim woodruff

    Why am I not surprised that she now works to help the gambling industry?

    The fight against Big Tobacco was Federal Government policy. She pursued it.

    In her first 5 years running the Health Department, Government (Howard) policy was designed to strengthen the private health industry and reduce the public system to a safety net. She pursued it.
    In her second 5 years running the Health Department, Government (ALP) policy was to do some reform but only tackle the edges of the privatisation of our health system whilst maintaining the inequitable and unhealthy private system as complementary to the public system (ie a 2 tiered system). She pursued that too.
    What did she really believe as a public servant? Politicians who dealt with her might know what she believes in. The public doesn’t. She was doing her job and her longevity in the service suggests she was quite competent.
    Now her actions as a private individual appear to indicate to us that she is not personally concerned about public health or at least not if the issue is one which only affects those individuals ‘weak’ enough to get sucked into gambling.


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