Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 3 December 2020) . . Page.. 140 ..
When Mr Parton talks about the Greens voter base, what he is actually talking about is the Canberra community. A significant community conversation has been going on for many years around the impact of gambling harm. Dr Paterson talked about some of the reforms that have been happening for some time.
A report that was put out by the ACT government last year noted that there was significant concern about the impact of gambling harm and that there was significant gambling harm caused in the ACT community. We are talking about the lives of people, and we are talking about the introduction of sensible reform. I am yet to meet one person who has walked into a gambling venue and actually made a decision to lose the amounts of money that can be lost in one hour.
We absolutely need to ensure that we continue to work with industry, support sensible transition and introduce the commitments that we have made to the community through the parliamentary agreement.
MR PARTON (Brindabella) (10.50): I note that Mr Rattenbury continues to suggest that clubs have too much reliance on gaming machine revenue. The pertinent question would be: what is the optimum level of reliance on gaming machine revenue? Surely, we have to have a target here. What is the magic number? I am sure it is not 80 per cent, as is the case for Tradies and the Burns Club. What is the figure? Is it 60 per cent? Is it 40 per cent, which seems to be the benchmark for the Southern Cross Club? I am sure Mr Rattenbury, as the minister, is across these figures. Is it 25 per cent, which is pretty much where the Harmonie German Club sits?
This minister is about to harm the club sector by chasing a magical figure on what is the optimum level of reliance on gaming revenue, but we do not know what the magic number is. In reality, I think that we do know what it is, Madam Speaker. According to the Greens, the optimum level of reliance on gaming revenue is about half as much as what it is whenever you ask the question. Whenever you ask the question, the optimum level is, “About half as much as that.” If you ask the question again, a year down the track, it is half as much again.
At the end of the day, according to the Greens, although they will not be brave enough to say it, the optimum level of reliance on gaming revenue is nil. That is what it is; it is nil. As long as a single individual is suffering from gambling harm, that is too much reliance on gaming revenue. What we are talking about here ultimately is a move towards prohibition because this activity does not suit their agenda.
I will refer to the massive amendments—and they are massive. Firstly, in regard to Mr Rattenbury’s speech, he referred again to $1,000 an hour. In the debate on his motion in July last year we discussed the fact that I could get onto the TAB app on my phone. I think the biggest bet through Tabcorp on Winx was $500,000, half a million dollars, which was done in 60 seconds; but he referred to $1,000 an hour.
When Mr Rattenbury says that he is looking forward to working with the club sector, to me it sounds like the kidnapper saying that he is looking forward to working with the hostage, but I hope that those discussions can be productive. I was most pleased to