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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2013..


MR MOORE (continuing):

buprenorphine becomes available on the PBS. That approval from the Commonwealth, together with this treatment option, I hope assists more people in dealing with their dependency and in living a better life.

Amendments agreed to.

Bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Race and Sports Bookmaking Bill 2001

Debate resumed from 29 March 2001, on motion by Mr Humphries:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR QUINLAN (11.29): The opposition will be supporting the Race and Sports Bookmaking Bill 2001. We have been in contact with the chief executive of the Gambling and Racing Commission, and we understand that there has been a degree of consultation with the operating bookmakers. The bookmakers still have some complaints regarding the level of consultation, particularly consultation on amendments, but I understand that the Treasurer will address those in the detail stage of the debate.

MS TUCKER (11.30): As members will be aware, the Greens take a strong interest in reducing the potential for problem gambling, in supporting people with problems and in harm minimisation measures, as well as in ensuring probity and ensuring that overall community interests guide gambling policy and legislation.

This bill implements parts of the National Competition Policy review of gambling conducted by the Allen Consulting Group in 1999, which is not strictly about these aims. The Gambling and Racing Commission has not been involved in developing this bill, which is good to know. I would have had some concerns about whether they were fulfilling their statutory responsibility to work for the community interest and harm minimisation if they had written it. I will raise in the detail stage concerns about some of the changes proposed here, but I would like to note in this in-principle stage the gaps and the missed opportunities.

The Allen Consulting Group recommended bringing the system for approving race and sports bookmaking licences under the licence approval system that applies to interactive gambling licences. At first reading, this sounds like the consultants have looked at it from the point of view of social welfare and recommended that bookmaker licensees be required to provide some of the consumer protection mechanisms required of interactive gambling licensees.

However, in its details, it becomes apparent that the competition policy review was not concerned with these consumer protection mechanisms. Several consumer protection measures that are part of the interactive gambling licensing system could well apply to bookmakers, particularly bookmakers who use the Internet to promote their industry and attract bets. The criteria for an interactive gambling licence include a prohibition on


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