Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 8 Hansard (26 October) . . Page.. 2151 ..
MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (5.36), in reply: As Ms Follett said, this Bill does two things. One of them is a very sensible approach and gives some flexibility to clubs to make sure that they are up to date with technology, allowing linked jackpots to be right across a number of clubs.
Ms Horodny: Excuse me, Mr Speaker. I am sorry; I was sitting outside the circle. Can I have just one minute before the debate is closed?
MRS CARNELL: You can speak when we get to the amendment, if you want to.
MR SPEAKER: You can speak when the amendment comes up.
MRS CARNELL: But you can speak at the in-principle stage if you want to.
MR SPEAKER: No; just let us continue. Members must learn the rules of debate in this place.
MRS CARNELL: As well, this Bill imposes a levy on gaming machine revenue in excess of $25,000 per month, which is a one per cent levy. Ms Follett often talks about community consultation and so on. This levy came about as a result of extensive consultation with the club movement. We have not heard any whinge whatsoever from the club movement on this one per cent levy. We have made it very clear exactly where it is going. This year it is going to the ITCs to help our elite sportspeople, to ensure that we have as good a performance in Atlanta as possible. It will continue to go to sporting operations, and where it goes every year will be determined in consultation with the club movement. That is the arrangement. That is the reason why the club movement has not made any complaint whatsoever. They think the excess club profits should be going back into the community, should be going back into this sort of area, into sport. At the moment it is in ITC areas. It could in the future go to other sporting arenas, and potentially to junior sport as well.
Ms Follett has indicated that she will move an amendment to remove that one per cent tax. Ms Follett would be aware that, by its very nature, that will amend the budget by some $600,000 this year and $1m in the future. We went through our budget consultations, and in quite substantial consultations we asked the various groups of people who came to us what they do as far as revenue is concerned. I will just read from the ACTCOSS News, which puts in place their position on the ACT budget. It recommends that the current tax on poker machines be increased from 22.5 per cent to 25 per cent of monthly turnover - not a one per cent levy for big clubs but a 21/2 per cent increase right across the board.
What about the Trades and Labour Council, because we consulted with them as well? The Trades and Labour Council said that they thought an increase in gambling taxes from 22.5 per cent to 25 per cent of monthly turnover was the way to go. So it would appear that the Trades and Labour Council, when consulted, suggested that an across-the-board increase in the tax was the way to go. Then, of course, there are the ACT Greens. The ACT Greens recently said in a letter to me: