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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (20 May) . . Page.. 421 ..

MR QUINLAN: My involvement in the community includes involvement in clubs. It includes involvement in other organisations to support the community, and I have done that for the satisfaction and certainly not for the dough, let me tell you. If we were to extend this argument of conflict of interest, Michael - you are now a member of the conservatives and, might I say, you look very comfortable amongst them; I like the new trim, neat look - there would be any number of issues upon which you could not vote. You are supported by the 500 Club. You do not even know who they are or what they do.

Mr Moore: I am not. It has nothing to do with my election, Ted Quinlan. It is to do with your nest egg for your election.

MR QUINLAN: Mate, you are part of the Government and they support you now. You can vote on virtually nothing; nothing to do with business; nothing - - -

Mr Berry: It is your club now, Michael; the 500 Club.

MR SPEAKER: Order! There is far too much interjection in this Assembly. Mr Quinlan has the floor.

MR QUINLAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I feel obliged to put in a small advertisement for the clubs. They do provide, as you well know, support for many groups in the community, and they are vital to the existence of most groups within the community. They support sport. More than in any other town, certainly more than in any part of metropolitan New South Wales, they are part of the fabric of Canberra. We depend on them for sport, for our facilities, for meeting facilities and for people in the community to come together. They provide to people of modest means a non-threatening environment in which they can go and have a few drinks and have a flutter on the poker machines, which help support them.

Not all of us can afford to swan around at the Hyatt or the Lakeside or whatever; but we can afford to go to some of the better appointed clubs and enjoy comfortable non-threatening facilities, with a few community services thrown in. The clubs gave $7.8m to community organisations in 1997-98, and $20m over the past three years. Nearly $3m was given to the Academy of Sport over the last three years through a levy imposed in 1995. Those figures are an understatement of what they provide to the community, because they provide access to facilities for so many clubs in which to meet and to commune.

I close by saying yes, this moratorium may tie the Government's hands somewhat; but too much of the Government's business in recent times appears to be done outside this place, namely, Kinlyside, the capital budget being distributed to the media before it goes to the Assembly, and the Feel the Power consultancy. I support this motion. In supporting the moratorium, I want to make it clear that, no matter what scenario might have come out of poker machines in the next year or so, it would not have impacted upon the support that the Labor Party would have received from those clubs. It would have impacted on the capacity of those clubs to provide support to other community organisations.

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