Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 22 April 2021) . . Page.. 1120 ..
With the greatest of respect to all those who were involved in putting that survey together and rolling it out in the field, I continue to have major concerns with the conclusions of the data. Much of that concern is based on the fact that I was a random participant in the survey. According to my results, I suffer from gambling harm. Much of it is based on the fact that when the survey asks you how much money you have turned over on a particular form of gambling, it specifically asks you not to include winnings in that equation.
So, if on a Saturday afternoon—and I am sure that Mr Barr does this at home—I put $50 in my TAB account and spend the afternoon having a little punt and I continue to turn that $50 over—have a little win, invest more, have a few losses and have a little win—over the period of the afternoon I may invest, in total, according to the gambling survey, $400. But I am playing with the same $50. That particular fact is not recognised by the survey.
Mr Barr: A bit of sports betting?
MR PARTON: No, it was not sports betting actually; it was horses. All I am saying is that I am keen to keep the jobs of all those who are currently employed in the club sector here in the ACT, but I do hope that I can, in some way, assist Mr Rattenbury in what is our joint goal of reducing gambling harm in the ACT.
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong—Attorney-General, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Gaming and Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction) (5.03): I will not speak for long, as I spoke to an extent yesterday. I just want to quickly touch on a couple of points that Mr Parton made. I thank him for his warm words. The point around the fact that some of the money going to clubs is coming from other clubs is, to an extent, true. This is through the Diversification and Sustainability Support Fund. This is a fund where clubs are required to make a contribution, if they are of a certain size, and the government matches that. It is worth the chamber noting that during the COVID period the government did not require the clubs to contribute, but the government kept contributing. The pool did get larger, only through government contribution.
I was very pleased recently to award the first round of allocations under that program. It went to a range of clubs across the city for a range of activities. We had some clubs investing in solar panels, which will help them reduce their energy bills. We had clubs investing in a complete kitchen upgrade. Another club is going to build a childcare centre on their site, because that will create an alternative stream of revenue. A couple of the other clubs are using the money to get consultants in to help them do planning for further diversification. I think that this fund is doing exactly what we want it to do, which is to either help clubs cut their costs or create new streams of revenue, both of which are beneficial to their long-term sustainability.
The point around being an island surrounded by New South Wales is true. It is one of the great challenges that we face as a jurisdiction in a range of areas. The fact that that is the case and the fact that New South Wales is captured by the gaming industry does not mean that the ACT should not do anything. New South Wales is notorious for the