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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 11 Hansard (15 November) . . Page.. 3476..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

and its enduring value and relevance to the ACT community. The plan will remain the key driver of policy across the ACT. But our developing and growing community does not remain static and the government will, when and where necessary, make the appropriate adjustments to keep the plan live and contemporary to meet the challenges that lie ahead.

These challenges include climate change, the need to secure our water supply, the skills shortage and the impact of an ageing population. Each of these were foreshadowed in the Canberra plan and its underpinning documents. But, following the government's significant research into and examination of these critical issues, we are now able to begin to provide greater detail and policy direction than in 2004.

I would like to thank all those involved in delivering the achievements of the Canberra plan that I have outlined today, and I wish to affirm the government's strong and continuing commitment to fulfilling the vision of the Canberra plan that Canberra becomes a city that represents the best in Australian creativity, community living and sustainable development.

Poker machine revenue and community contributions scheme

Discussion of matter of public importance

MR SPEAKER: I have received letters from Mrs Burke, Dr Foskey, Ms MacDonald, Mr Mulcahy, Mr Pratt, Mr Seselja and Mr Stefaniak proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, I have determined that the matter proposed by Dr Foskey be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

Issues surrounding poker machine revenue and the failings of the community contributions scheme.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (3.57): I raise this issue today in light of the 10th report on community contributions made by gambling machine licensees. The issue of poker machines and their role in our community has been debated before in the Assembly and we are all well aware of the problems that poker machines create for many in our community.

Today I would like to focus my concern on the issue of community contributions made by licensed venues to fulfil their obligation under the Gaming Machine Act. Evident in the report is a clear failure of the current system to deliver an effective community contributions scheme. The ACT has 64 club gaming licences and 13 hotel-tavern gaming licences regulated by the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission. In 2006-07, these 64 clubs produced net gaming machine revenue of an astonishing $109.4 million, although this was about $4 million less than the previous year. By any measure this is an enormous amount of money, particularly given these clubs' status as not-for-profit organisations, which is a requirement of their holding a poker machine licence.

In 2000, this Assembly realised the incongruity of this and imposed a requirement that at least seven per cent of this NGMR must go towards one of four categories of social development: charitable and social welfare, sport and recreation, non-profit activities


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