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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 3 December 2020) . . Page.. 138 ..

(f) facilitate planning and other processes to allow clubs to diversify to other revenue generating streams, particularly development of available land for social housing and land supply purposes, that are supported by the community;

(g) provide a just transition for workers in the community clubs and gambling industry by ensuring that new or transferred employment is on permanent and secure terms, providing support and retraining for employment in new jobs of their choosing and ensuring worker entitlements are secure in business transfer or winding up;

(h) conduct a review into water costs for high-intensity club users of non-potable water in 2021, with the goal to allow clubs to maintain operations while not requiring cross-subsidisation by other ACT water users;

(i) establish a five year $5 million Building Energy Efficiency Upgrade Fund, to be accessed by community clubs; and

(j) support clubs to become heat and smoke refuges for local communities. This will include ensuring appropriate air filtration systems, and financial payments for venues designated as official extreme weather refuge sites; and

(10) calls on the Government to report back to the Assembly on outcomes of consultation with the sector including with the Ministerial Council, and on progress on each of these commitments no later than the last sitting day in October 2021.”

DR PATERSON (Murrumbidgee) (10.43): I would like to speak, with respect to Mr Parton’s motion during private members’ business, in support of the amendments put forward by Minister Rattenbury.

Clubs play an important role in the Canberra community. They are part of this city’s social fabric and provide facilities and support for many leisure, entertainment, sporting and recreational activities that Canberrans enjoy. However, what we cannot ignore in the ACT is the harm experienced by 10 per cent of the community as a result of gambling. This level of harm is not acceptable in our community.

I agree with Mr Parton that during the shutdown people did go to Queanbeyan. This demonstrates the level of the problem. We need to do better in the ACT. These are exactly the people for whom we need to be advocating when it comes to services and support. It is for this reason that the club sector has been, and will continue to be, required to move away from a reliance on revenue from poker machines.

With change comes opportunity. Where we move now is to a position of innovative initiatives, future thinking and new opportunities to secure the future of clubs in our community. The government has provided significant financial and non-financial support to clubs to assist them to become more sustainable and diversify their revenue streams away from gaming, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable clubs. We have provided $14.4 million in incentives for the voluntary surrender of gaming machine authorisations. This includes $648,000 in cash incentives and $13.7 million in offset incentives for land-related payments, fees and charges.

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