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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 1 Hansard (10 February) . . Page.. 85..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

This no longer needs explanation. It was canvassed at some length this morning as a result of some papers that were circulated at the Belconnen markets. It was drawn to my attention that there were concerns about the nature of it, and I agreed. To assure that there was no perception of bias in relation to this inquiry, I offered to the committee to stand aside, and that offer was taken up.

Since that time, although I am officially the chair of the committee, I have had no dealings with this, and this formalises that arrangement. Since the time the committee announced that I put out a press release and the committee wrote to members of the public about it, on 16 January, I think, I have had no involvement in this inquiry and will not for the rest of the time. I commend the motion to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Gaming Machine Amendment Bill 2004

Mr Quinlan , by leave, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by clerk.

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism, and Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming) (5.20): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The bill has three important elements. First, it reinstates the women in sport component of the government's plan for women policy to provide greater support for choices that women want to make in their lives.

As members would be aware, in June 2002 the Assembly passed legislation that enabled licensed clubs to claim $4 against their statutory community contributions requirement for every $3 donated for the benefit and enhancement of women's sport in the ACT. However, the government's initiative for the incentive scheme was amended during debate to provide a sunset clause of 30 June 2003. As part of the response to the review of the Gaming Machine Act, the government has agreed that, subject to the results of the scheme, the scheme will be made permanent under the act.

The ACT Gambling and Racing Commission's 2002-03 community contributions report shows an increase in actual donations to women's sport from $157,981 in 2001-02 to $219,692 in 2002-03. That is an increase of nearly 40 per cent in contributions by licensed clubs to women's sport in the last financial year. This result during the scheme's limited operation reinforces the government's position on this important initiative.

The bill presented today brings forward an amendment to the Gaming Machine Act to provide for the reintroduction of the incentive scheme for licensed clubs to contribute to women's sport. The proposal will enable clubs to access this scheme for the financial year 2003-04, and beyond, to address the imbalance in relation to women's sport and allow the benefits to once again flow back to women's sport. Secondly, this bill proposes to allow tavern owners in the ACT access to a more modern type of gaming machine.

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