Page 2003 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 28 June 2023

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Gaming Machine (Club Refuge) Amendment Bill 2022

Debate resumed from 1 December 2022, on motion by Mr Rattenbury:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (10.40): We are making history in this chamber today, or this week, because, for the first time in the history of the Westminster system, there are two bills in the same week in this place from Mr Rattenbury to which I am responding and on which I am in absolute agreement with Mr Rattenbury! I do not think that has ever occurred before, and it probably will not again. But, as was the case with yesterday’s bill, this is a sensible, practical bill, and I applaud the minister and those in the directorate and all those who have made this happen.

How could anyone argue against it? That is what I thought at the time it was presented. I would note that—I know I have had an indication that Dr Paterson’s amendments will not be moved, but I know that she was set to, in the form of those amendments, argue against it in its current form. If those amendments had been realised, they would have rendered the bill utterly useless.

It leads me to the question: how do you know if your amendments are pure virtue-signalling? Is there a measure by which? I think the measure is this: if you construct some amendments designed to signal your position in some noble area and if your virtue-signalling amendments are absolutely rejected by the party that has made a living out of virtue-signalling—if the Greens look at your amendments and say, “Nah, I don’t think so”—then that says that your amendments were pure virtue-signalling!

That being said, I am most pleased that this framework has been established, and I think one of the things that you have got to say when you look at this bill is that it is so “Canberra”! It is so Canberra. I cannot see this being constructed in this way in any other jurisdiction. It is reflective of the fact that we live in the middle of the bushfire zone. It is reflective of the strong community vibe in our city and the fact that when people are in trouble we do reach out, but it is also genuinely reflective of the part that our licensed clubs play in our community. It brings all of those aspects together to set up a framework that, if we are faced with the sorts of disasters and the sorts of crises we had in the past, will actually make it better for so many people.

Thanks to the minister’s staff and others for briefing us on this along the way. In regard to the amendments, which I will not speak to when they come up, they look pretty sensible to me. I would say that I think the amendments, as opposed to parts of my speech earlier, do take on board the vibe of Dr Paterson’s original amendments and make some changes to provide some protections for people in that space. We will be supporting the amendments and supporting the bill.

DR PATERSON (Murrumbidgee) (10.44): I thank the minister for bringing this amendment bill to the Assembly. I share the minister’s concern for those most

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