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Stephen Conroy out at Responsible Wagering Australia

Tue, Sep 3, 1:24pm by Staff Writer

The revolving door at Responsible Wagering Australia, the industry group for some of the country’s largest bookies, had been spinning rapidly over the past month.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that first Lucien Wells was out as the outfit’s public affairs chief, heading to Labor deputy Richard Marles’ office.

He was replaced by former Bill Shorten staffer Shawn Lambert.

Then it was executive director Stephen Conroy’s offsider Bec Smith who ditched RWA for Anthony Albanese’s office.

She was replaced by another former Shorten staffer.

Now it’s Conroy heading for the door.

The former Labor frontbencher told RWA members late last week he would leave at Christmas.

Conroy was widely speculated to have been a contender for the chairmanship of Free TV Australia.

And there was talk he was interested in replacing former treasurer Joe Hockey as Australia’s ambassador to the United States if Shorten had won the May 18 election.

Alas, these things did not come to pass.

CBD is told Conroy instead intends to spend more time at TG Endeavour, the public affairs consultancy he operates alongside John Howard’s former senior adviser Mark Barndon-Banker and Bob Hawke’s private secretary Jeff Townsend.

His tenure at RWA, chaired by Howard government minister turned former New York consul general Nick Minchin, is largely considered a success by his members.

In particular, Victorian premier Daniel Andrews imposed a point-of-consumption tax on gambling half that imposed in South Australia and other states.

Or as BetEasy chief executive Matt Trip said, “He’s helped the industry navigate some of its most serious regulatory headwinds… and leaves us in great shape.”

A replacement has yet to be found but with Conroy sticking around until the end of the year, RWA has plenty of time to scour the ranks for one.

New CEO for Vic Responsible Gambling Foundation

A new chief executive officer has been appointed for the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.

The Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Marlene Kairouz, announced the appointment of Shane Lucas as Victoria’s new chief executive officer for the Responsible Gambling Foundation.

His appointment follows what Mirage News describes as an extensive national executive search and recruitment process undertaken by the Foundation’s Board between November 2018 and February 2019.

Mr Lucas has held senior management positions in the non-government, government and private sectors since 2000.

He served as the chief executive officer of Early Learning Association Australia from 2013 to 2017 and was most recently a full-time member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Between 2011 and 2016, Mr Lucas was an Advisory Board Member of Deakin University’s Master of Public Policy program.

He has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from Monash University and a Diploma in Migration Law from Victorian University.

He is a graduate of the Victorian Leadership Development Centre and a Williamson Fellow of Leadership Victoria.

Mr Lucas commenced in his role as chief executive officer of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation last Monday, taking over from interim chief executive officer Janet Dore, who led the Foundation for the past five months.

Ms Dore will continue with the Foundation until the end of March to ensure a smooth transition to the new leadership.

The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation is a statutory authority created by the Victorian Parliament that specifically addresses the challenges of gambling harm in the Victorian community.

The Foundation was brought into effect by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation Act 2011.

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