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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 9 Hansard (22 August) . . Page.. 3199..


MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

We have heard from Mr Berry that there will be a significant effect on the viability of clubs if this measure passes.

Mr Berry: You are at it again. I read a letter from the clubs. It was not from me

MR HUMPHRIES: You would think that there had been some bad polling somewhere, Mr Speaker, wouldn't you? They are showing a bit of tension, a bit of nervousness. What is going on?

The claim has been made in Mr Berry's mouth this evening, whether he was quoting from somebody else or in his own right-I think it was also in his own right-that there are 40 to 50 jobs to be lost in the ACT from the implementation of this measure. I have invited members in this place to peruse the evidence which comes from the Gambling and Racing Commission, which has been in turn supplied by the clubs themselves. So far no member has taken advantage of my invitation. The evidence shows that the claim that about 40 or 50 jobs will be lost is nonsense. It is a complete fabrication.

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I seek leave to table the letter from the clubs. People can read it themselves, if they do not believe I read it right.

MR SPEAKER: You will have to wait until after Mr Humphries has finished speaking, Mr Berry.

MR HUMPHRIES: I am sure that that is what ClubsACT say, but it is also very clear, on their own figures, that it is not true. It is a fabrication. They are making it up. The fact is that clubs are making, on average, less than $25 for the entire three hours they remain open in the mornings. Some of the people who are using clubs at that time may well be people with serious gambling problems. Believe it or not, on this side of the chamber we care about those people with gambling problems. Obviously you people, with your serious conflict of interest in this matter, do not care about them.

There is a serious problem in this city. If people are putting money through poker machines at 4 o'clock in the morning, you have to ask what they are doing there.

Mr Berry: Why don't you ban them altogether?

Mr Hargreaves: How about we arrest them?

MR HUMPHRIES: Money talks, doesn't it, Mr Speaker? Money really talks in this place.

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, he just made a serious imputation. "Money talks" is an imputation that people on this side of the place are on the take, and it should be withdrawn immediately.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I will withdraw any such imputations immediately. That is how it is done, Mr Berry. But I will say that the Labor Party has a very serious conflict of interest by virtue of the mammoth amounts of money they receive every year from poker machines in this territory.


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