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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 5 Hansard (16 May) . . Page.. 1894 ..


Working with Vulnerable People (Background Checking) Amendment Bill 2019—Revised explanatory statement.

Gaming Legislation Amendment Bill 2019

Debate resumed from 4 April 2019, on motion by Mr Ramsay:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (6.36): It would seem that barely a sitting week can pass without more red tape and regulations being slapped on to the clubs industry. This is another example of it today. We are watching on as another advisory board is formed, this time to advise on applications to a diversification fund. Very briefly, I want to be clear that the Canberra Liberals do not oppose the government making it easier for clubs in the ACT to move away from gaming revenue. It must be said that that is happening naturally, anyway. Of course clubs are diversifying away from gaming, because gaming is declining.

We understand that diversification is necessary. The minister attempts to confuse the issue. Those in the industry know that the only one confused in this space is the minister himself. He is confused for two reasons in regard to the gaming space: (a) he does not know and (b) he does not really care.

The minister responsible for gaming and racing does not even have that title because gaming and racing is not what they call it anymore. Today the minister will impose yet another tax on our local clubs. The minister and I had a brief conversation about this in this building this week. It basically gets down to: this is not the way we would do it. But apparently it is the way that it is being done by this government. We certainly do not agree with the process. This is definitely not the way to do it.

There is one thing that I want to draw attention to. Although this is not directly part of the bill, it would be remiss of me not to mention that the minister still has not provided total clarity around his changes to what qualifies for a community contribution, including the definition of "professional sport". I am sure the minister is well aware that no club in Canberra puts money towards professional sport, as many in the community would define it—that is, the Raiders, the Brumbies, AFL and full-time fully paid athletes—as part of the community contribution scheme. So there are plenty of nervous people waiting for the minister to decide what he defines as professional sport. If he goes the wrong way on this, if he adjudicates the wrong way—recent history suggests there is a fair chance that that will be the case—it will have a devastating effect on those sporting clubs and many who enjoy the benefits provided by our community clubs.

The bill also includes mandatory training for club directors and boards. Interestingly, the minister has chosen to use this bill to introduce new workplace rights training. Again, I am sure that the minister is fully aware that these are obligations enshrined in federal laws. I sincerely hope that this is not a backhanded way of saying that the government believes our local clubs are not fulfilling their legal duties. We will not be


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