Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 27 October 2015) . . Page.. 3596 ..
Removing all fees and charges from any form of land development provides an unrealistic path for clubs. Not all clubs will have the capacity to undertake significant land redevelopment. That will mean that other opportunities are not explored—perhaps smarter paths that clubs can explore to diversify their business model that is not solely based on land development. For example, there are co-working spaces springing up, start-ups emerging from many parts of our community, and clubs in different parts of our city may have opportunities to draw on local skills and resources to actually seek another path to their business diversification. That goes to one of the recommendations also around diversification, to see if the government would like to engage the Canberra Business Chamber to find other forms of business diversification that do not solely rely on land.
As Mr Rattenbury noted, he and I agreed to an alternative recommendation around the lease variation charge, which was not agreed to by the majority of the committee, that there be a remission of a proportion of any lease variation charge applicable for purposes that include a demonstrable community benefit including but not limited to child care, healthcare and health services, aged-care services and accommodation, sporting, fitness and recreation facilities, and affordable rental accommodation. Sadly, that was not agreed to by the committee but hopefully it may provide the government an alternative framework in which to consider some of the land development recommendations which came out of this report.
At the end of the day valuable community land was provided by the community on the basis that it provide benefit back to the community. I believe that some community offset should be returned. I accept that jobs, the hospitality services of the clubs and the broader economic activity make a contribution but I do not believe that broad sections of our community would view that specifically as a community offset in return for land.
Clubs hold proudly to the fact that they are also not-for-profit community stakeholders and they share the view that this is an important part of their role in the ACT community. I also think that in this process it was clear that there had been a cumulative regulatory impact over time on revenue for clubs but such large amounts of revenue from poker machines make me uneasy, as I think it does many members of the ACT community.
On the issue of community contribution Mr Rattenbury noted also that I had proposed and the committee agreed in total to a two per cent increase to the community contribution rate from eight per cent to 10 per cent. There was some discussion around the pros and cons of having that additional two per cent in a central fund. Potentially it is something that the government could consider even though it was not agreed to by the committee. I recognise that there are pros and cons to that but it was discussed in the committee as a way of providing a wider range of people to consider how this two per cent could be spent most broadly across the community, which I think provided a reasonable balance.
MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (11.21): The public accounts committee heard a wide range of evidence during this inquiry and addressed issues including revenue and