Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 9 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 2752 ..
MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (10.45): Mr Speaker, I present the Lotteries (Amendment) Bill 1996, together with its explanatory memorandum.
Title read by Clerk.
MRS CARNELL: I move:
That this Bill be agreed to in principle.
Mr Speaker, this Bill amends the Lotteries Act 1964. The Lotteries Act regulates the manner in which lotteries, including scratch lotteries, raffles, housie and trade promotions, are conducted in the Territory. Persons wishing to conduct lotteries must apply in writing for approval and, once granted, adhere to strict advertising, ticket sale and prize draw guidelines, as well as provide a detailed report to the Revenue Branch of the Office of Financial Management on the completion of the draw. Currently, the only exception to this is where the lottery is conducted for a charitable purpose and the total value of the prize does not exceed $40.
Mr Speaker, the minimum total prize value of $40 was set in 1964 and is now regarded as totally inappropriate. We all know that most raffles run by our P and Cs, social clubs at the workplace, local scout groups and so on now have a value of much more than $40, and it is not the intention of our legislation to burden these groups with permit applications. To provide better service to our community, Mr Speaker, the Bill provides that the minimum total prize value of $40 be removed from the Act and that in future this amount be set by determination. This determination would be a disallowable instrument and, as such, would be subject to scrutiny by the Legislative Assembly. Once the passage of this Bill is completed, Mr Speaker, the minimum prize value will initially be set at $500. At this level, the interests of ACT charities and community groups will be served, while at the same time reducing the administrative workload associated with the regulation of charitable lotteries.
Finally, Mr Speaker, Parliamentary Counsel has taken this opportunity to revise the penalty structure of the Act to penalty units, as part of the Government's penalty update process. I commend the Bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Whitecross) adjourned.