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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 3 Hansard (25 March) . . Page.. 809..


Thursday 25 March 1999

____________________

The Assembly met at 10.30 am.

(Quorum formed)

MR SPEAKER (Mr Cornwell) took the chair and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

GAMBLING - SELECT COMMITTEE

Final Report

MR KAINE (10.31): Mr Speaker, pursuant to order, I present the final report of the Select Committee on Gambling entitled "The Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in the ACT", together with the minutes of proceedings. I move:

That the report be noted.

Mr Speaker, this report is the culmination of a great deal of serious work undertaken by the select committee over a number of months. It is a unanimous report, which says much about the determination of the committee members to deal seriously with the complex issues which arose from the inquiry and to come to conclusions in the public interest. It is a report which is a testament also to the professional skills of the committee's secretaries and administrative support staff.

The report contains 28 recommendations about matters arising from the committee's inquiry into the social and economic impacts of gambling, a review of the Allen report and competition policy, and the proposed Gaming and Racing Commission Bill.

With regard to the social and economic impacts of gambling, the report focuses principally on poker machines. This is the result of several factors, including, firstly, the fact that the terms of reference made specific reference to poker machines; secondly, that the preponderance of evidence presented to the committee by people in Canberra related specifically to poker machines, and I think that represented the direction of public concerns about gambling; and, thirdly, that the statistical evidence shows clearly that poker machines are predominant in relation to all other forms of gambling in terms of expenditure, turnover, government revenues, the number of gaming venues and the like.

The major problem that confronted the committee right from the beginning was the total lack of literature and research dealing with gambling in the Territory and the complete lack of any database to support conclusions. The committee had, perforce, to work largely with local anecdotal evidence, supported by research and data collection carried


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