Page 6047 - Week 18 - Thursday, 12 December 1991

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The principal attraction of obtaining a club liquor licence arises from the fact that the holder is almost automatically eligible to operate gaming machines under the Gaming Machine Act. The taxation scale for club gaming machine profits is also considerably more favourable than that applying to hotel licensees. Under the new monthly tax scale contained in this Bill, the maximum rate for clubs will be 22.5 per cent after the transitional period, as opposed to 35 per cent for other licensees.

The amendments contained in this Bill will sever the connection between the Gaming Machine Act and the Liquor Act for grant of a gaming machine licence. The amended Act will subject clubs seeking gaming machine licences to stringent requirements, many of which have been adopted from the New South Wales Registered Clubs Act. These provisions will include the requirement that clubs have a minimum of 200 members and controls on the pecuniary benefits that may be received by any person from a club. It is also proposed that the Commissioner for ACT Revenue be given powers under the amended legislation to ensure that a club seeking or holding a gaming machine licence is conducted in good faith as a club.

The amendments contained in this Bill in relation to both the licence fees and private ownership of clubs are consistent with practice in New South Wales. Further, the proposed changes have been sought by the industry for some time and have been developed after extensive consultation with the Licensed Clubs Association. My Government believes that the amendments contained in the Bill will help ensure the future of an industry that provides high-class amenities and entertainment and is important to the economy of the Canberra region. I present the explanatory memorandum for the Bill.

Debate (on motion by Mr Collaery) adjourned.

BILL (NO. 3) 1991

MS FOLLETT (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (4.11): Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I present the Taxation (Administration) (Amendment) Bill (No. 3) 1991. I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

After the Gaming and Liquor Authority was abolished, from 1 January 1991, the regulatory and revenue raising powers of the Gaming Machine Act became the responsibility of the Commissioner for ACT Revenue. At that time, it was foreshadowed that gaming machine taxes would be brought more into line with other taxes administered by the commissioner, most of which are incorporated under the Taxation (Administration) Act 1987.

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