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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (20 May) . . Page.. 393 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

assessments concerning Territory policies on gambling issues. I do not think we would at all doubt that. In announcing this inquiry, though, the Federal Government acknowledges that it has no formal jurisdiction over gambling; gambling revenues and regulations are clearly the responsibilities of the States and Territories.

I believe that there is a role for the Commonwealth in the area of interactive gambling. A greater cooperation with the Commonwealth on this matter would ensure an effective regulatory regime from an interactive gambling perspective across all jurisdictions. I am sure that we would all agree that on interactive gambling the approaches that we all take should, wherever possible, be the same; and that is happening across jurisdictions. I am looking forward to seeing the findings of the inquiry on the sorts of approaches that we are putting to the Commonwealth on issues such as, as I think members would have heard me say, why the Commonwealth, on one hand, is saying to the Australian community, "We are very worried about gambling" - and I am not doubting their view on that - but, on the other hand, penalising the ACT for underperforming in gambling revenue. That is the approach I am putting to the Commonwealth; and I made it quite clear that I am doing that.

There are two issues. One is interactive gambling, where the Commonwealth should be involved in setting approaches for the whole of Australia; and it should stay out of our regulation in other areas. I have to say that we do not encourage the Commonwealth to come in and legislate on our behalf. In fact, we encourage them not to. The second is to ensure that the Commonwealth starts being a tiny weeny bit, I suppose, even-handed in this area. Being even-handed means that you cannot put your hand on your heart and say you are worried about gambling and then turn around and say the ACT is underperforming by as much as, I think, $18m and then penalise us for the pleasure. I think that is the sort of information the Commonwealth needs.

MS TUCKER: I have a supplementary question. Mr Speaker, I did not understand from that answer whether or not Mrs Carnell is going to table that response, for our information. She gave a brief overview of it; so, I would seek clarification on that. But my supplementary question is this: I was interested to see Mrs Carnell on local television news last week saying that she thought it was totally irrelevant what the Federal inquiry came up with. As the brief of that inquiry is to produce good public policy advice, I am surprised you think that you should not have actually asked that inquiry to look at things that we certainly do not have the resources to do in the ACT, because we do not have our own independent inquiry.

Ms Carnell: Is that a question or a statement?

MS TUCKER: I am sorry; I did not ask a question; you are right. The question is: On local television last week, why did you say it was not relevant to the ACT when, obviously, it is going to be a really important document for public policy development?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, the reason I made the comments that I did was that this inquiry, firstly, will not come up with any recommendations. What it is looking at is an overview for the whole of Australia. The input that the ACT, as a jurisdiction on its own, will have into that sort of direction will be very small. Ms Tucker may not be aware that already the information that we have in the ACT would indicate that the issues that are

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