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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 15 August 2018) . . Page.. 2936 ..


The last thing I want to touch on today is that we are seeing a very active community discussion about this at the moment. Of course, ClubsACT is running a campaign and various community members are putting their view. And that is right; that is what should be going on, because we are having a consultation process and people are free to put their views. But I do take issue with the way some elements of this campaign are being conducted.

I recently wrote a letter to the Chief Executive of ClubsACT expressing my dismay at some of the tactics they had used. Specifically, they gave out the email address and mobile phone number of Hands Across Canberra and urged their members to contact them. Hands Across Canberra is a charity organisation. Potentially, if the scheme is changed, they would become the recipients of some of those funds and would then disburse them to a group of charities across Canberra. It begs the question: why would ClubsACT see them as a target as part of this campaign?

They also gave out the email addresses and phone numbers for MLAs, and that is perfectly appropriate. The community should contact us to put their views. But it beggars belief that ClubsACT would give out the mobile phone number of a charity organisation, and have their supporters ring up and harass that community organisation. Why? What possesses you to do something like that?

I have written to the Chief Executive of ClubsACT expressing my disappointment at the recent tactics employed by ClubsACT. I have explained to them, in case they were not clear about this, what Hands Across Canberra is. I have asked ClubsACT, whilst they are absolutely entitled to express their views, to be more considerate in the future and not to target what I deem the “innocent bystander”.

I have asked ClubsACT not to employ these tactics in the future. I hope they will reflect on their tactics in this process. By all means participate in the public debate; absolutely. We have all had plenty of experience of their enthusiasm for that process, and we will continue to do so. But, come on; employ a little bit of decency when it comes to your approach to these debates.

The Greens will be supporting Minister Ramsay’s amendment today.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (11.36): I will start by paraphrasing Mr Rattenbury’s start to his speech. It appears to me that it is clear that the current government is not working as well as it could and improvements could be made. This is just one more example where the government are failing ACT clubs. They failed them back in 2015 when the public accounts committee tabled its report on its inquiry into the future of the clubs sector, and it is failing them again now.

When I came to Canberra—I think it was in 1988—I experienced the community club model for the first time. Having lived mostly in Melbourne but in some other places before then, this was a new experience to me. My husband and I joined some clubs, as many Canberrans did. You joined clubs based on shared values, shared interests and also geographic location. I will embarrass my husband by mentioning here that when he was a teenager he played piano accordion in a band at the Harmonie German Club,


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