Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 27 November 2018) . . Page.. 4866 ..
Once again I thank Mr Parton for his efforts in campaigning for the community clubs, and I ask those opposite to reconsider their agenda and put themselves in the shoes of the sports and recreation clubs that these changes will impact.
Before I finish I want to tell you a short story. Last week I had the privilege of having a coffee and a bowl of wedges with Reg Bates at the Tuggeranong Vikings. Reg recently won the heart of the community award from ClubsACT for his service to Tuggeranong Vikings Lawn Bowls Club. Reg has given 25 hours per week every week for the last 17 years and also works on a range of local charities and causes as a member of the Vikings. His passion and spirit for his club is outstanding.
Chatting about his beloved club, Reg was genuinely worried about what the future holds. Lawn bowls is already heavily subsidised by the Vikings, and we are talking about big numbers. Hundreds of thousands of dollars is spent on maintaining the greens, employing greenkeepers, providing facilities for the club and spaces for events, and keeping food and beverage costs as low as they can. What happens to Reg and his team mates now?
They give prize money for some of their competitions. Does that make them professional sportspeople? The greens are used by both men and women, so does that mean they cannot claim maintenance and facility costs? The bowls club has a clubhouse in the building. Does that mean this space can no longer be counted? What about their Christmas parties and presentation nights when they are gifted function space? Will these be lost or will members, mostly pensioners, need to find extra cash to book these spaces?
This is the everyday reality of what this government is doing. This is not about problem gambling or making clubs more accountable; there are other ways to do that. If you will not listen to me and you will not listen to Mr Parton, listen to Reg and show a little respect for the time, energy and passion of so many people in our community who rely on this scheme to keep their sports and recreation clubs going.
MR RAMSAY (Ginninderra—Attorney-General, Minister for the Arts and Cultural Events, Minister for Building Quality Improvement, Minister for Business and Regulatory Services and Minister for Seniors and Veterans) (4.02), in reply: I am pleased to close the debate on the Gaming Legislation Amendment Bill 2018. I am disappointed at the hyperbole, the inaccuracies and the scare campaign that has been continued by those opposite and by some people in the community. This bill shows that we can strengthen the community benefits that come from our club sector at the same time as reducing gambling harm by working together.
We have delivered a package that was crafted through working with clubs, workers and our community to support clubs whilst strengthening our already robust gambling harm prevention framework. Our commitments in this package were clearly outlined in August 2018; nothing has changed since then. We are investing in our clubs and in our communities to support this reform.