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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 4 Hansard (10 April) . .

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Often it is the acute aspects of our mental health services which can occupy a lot of our time and attention, while early intervention and prevention programs are working away quietly in the background. This work is occurring alongside the establishment of the Office for Mental Health, and we are already starting to see some preliminary results.

I look forward to providing further updates to the Assembly on how we are developing smarter, more cost-effective approaches to improving criminal justice and health outcomes in the Canberra community.

I present the following paper:

Detention Exit Community Outreach Program—Ministerial statement, 10 April 2018.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Gambling harm minimisation

Ministerial statement

MR RAMSAY (Ginninderra—Attorney-General, Minister for Regulatory Services, Minister for the Arts and Community Events and Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (10.37): Madam Speaker, this government has proudly and firmly committed to find ways to reduce the impact of problem gambling in Canberra. In August last year, I made a statement to this Assembly about the government's progress to implement that commitment, and at that time I outlined a series of reforms that had already been introduced. I also outlined the government's plans to deliver even stronger and more robust measures, including reducing the number of gaming machine authorisations in the territory to 4,000. Today I can proudly say that the government is hard at work and will be delivering on those commitments.

The fundamental goal of these changes is to help ensure that people, families, and the whole community are better protected and supported to overcome the impacts of problem gambling. The impact of problem gambling on individuals and their families has been highlighted over the past year. A number of courageous individuals have shared their experiences very publicly. Their examples show us why it is important to keep focusing on harm minimisation and finding new ways to regulate gambling in the territory.

Reducing the number of gaming machine authorisations to 4,000 is a key component of this government's harm reduction strategy. It will lay the foundation for helping to build a clubs sector that is diverse, sustainable and community-focused and, at the same time, less reliant on gaming revenue. Our aim is to develop a partnership with clubs to achieve this important reform.


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