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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (20 May) . . Page.. 417 ..

Mr Berry: And you want to put them into pubs and taverns.

MR MOORE: Let me explain why I say that. All right, Mr Berry; I will be getting to you shortly. I have no problem with a cap, but a cap has to be put in as part of an integrated approach while a whole series of other things happen at once.

Ms Tucker drew our attention to the fact that there are about 4,600 poker machines in clubs, and many of them support the Labor Party. We now go to a cap of 5,200. If I were the manager of one of the clubs, for example, the Labor Club, the first thing I would do now is to get an application in, just to be sure that I did not miss out; just to be sure that when I was ready to do my expansion I would have the approved poker machines. I would not need to get them now; I would just need to have them approved. So the first thing I would do is get the application in and ensure that we had it. That is the first thing, and there are ways of resolving that. We ought just remove the second part of the motion and allow the committee to tell us what is the most effective way to introduce a capping system that also allows us to control this method that clubs are likely to adopt.

It is also my understanding that this motion may well not contain legislation, and when I spoke to Ms Tucker about this she said, "That is all right; get the legislation in place". I think she is right, but what we should be doing is putting the cap and the legislation together rather than going through the process in this backward way. I think the outcome may be just the opposite of what you want, and the opposite of what I want; but I agree with you that it is appropriate that we set the cap. Having set the cap, I think it is also important to note that this motion clearly favours clubs. Do not forget that there are clubs within this Territory, four of them associated with the Labor Party, which already have applications in. Do not forget that the Labor Party takes the best part of $1m over this 31/2-year electoral period. They will take out at least $1m for the Labor Party.

I mentioned this in the last Assembly, Mr Speaker. This is a clear-cut conflict of interest. This is a clear conflict of interest. We have heard Mr Osborne say that he takes some money out of the West Belconnen Leagues Club, and it does go to him personally, individually. We understand that. Therefore, he has done the honourable thing and has stood aside from this debate. I presume that the Labor Party will do the same. Mr Quinlan, of all people, knows exactly how the poker machines impact on the Labor Club because I understand that he was responsible for effectively turning around the finances of the Labor Club on these issues. Congratulations. I think that is fine. But it also means that he would know the amount of money involved and it is entirely appropriate for you people, as a party, to stand aside from this issue. It is entirely inappropriate that you vote on this issue. This is legislation that will clearly favour clubs and undermine the general issues surrounding the inquiry that the Chief Minister has set up dealing with the distribution of poker machines.

It is no secret that I have introduced legislation in this place to allow poker machines into pubs and taverns because I believe that is entirely appropriate. But I was also prepared to wait until the report to the Chief Minister became available, so that we could see what the recommendations were and what the social implications were. This rides over that.

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