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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (18 June) . . Page.. 1982..


MR STEFANIAK

(continuing):

Like the clubs, who do an excellent job in supporting community activities and charities and sponsoring sport, the little taverns and the pubs also do an excellent job. They are not afraid to pay even a greater tax rate on poker machines than what applies to clubs. They have no problems there. They contribute and have always contributed to our local community and obviously want to continue to do so. But I do not think artificial things should be put in their way.

We have a very artificial situation where currently most pubs and taverns are entitled only to non-existent machines and only six are entitled to the half reasonable class B machines. It is only fair that these businesses, most of which are small businesses, be entitled to operate current gaming machines within the limits stipulated by the legislation, which has been in force for some 19 years. Fairness demands that a bill such as this be supported by the Assembly. I commend the bill to the house.

Debate (on motion by Mr Quinlan ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Gaming Machine (Appropriate Premises) Amendment Bill 2003

Ms Tucker,

pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by acting clerk.

MS TUCKER

(10.53): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, this bill would fill a gap in the powers of the Gambling and Racing Commission to refuse to issue a licence for gaming machines to a club. The gap is the power to consider the social effect of a club introducing gaming machines to a particular premises. Specifically, this amendment would provide that the commission may not issue the licence unless the installation and use on the premises of gaming machines are not likely to affect adversely the nature or character of the premises or the general use of the premises or enjoyment of persons using the premises.

This restriction already applies in relation to applications to put gaming machines in premises where there is an on licence or a general licence, but it does not currently apply to applications for clubs. Under the current legislation, for applications for gaming machines in clubs, the commission must:

consider whether the size and layout are suitable-section 14A (c) and section 41, which also apply to the other categories of licensed premises;

assess that the club is an eligible club-section 14A (a);

check probity requirements for management at sections 14 and 15A;

be satisfied that, at an appropriate ballot, the majority of voting members agree to the proposal for new or extra gaming machines at the club premises.


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