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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (20 May) . . Page.. 422 ..

While I am on my feet, Mr Speaker, may I move an amendment to the motion?

MR SPEAKER: Proceed.

MR QUINLAN: The amendment has been distributed in my name. I move:

Paragraph (1)(c), omit "a consultant", substitute "consulting capacity".

That is to ensure that, if the committee need to draw upon a consultant, they are not limited to a single person or a single expertise that might be available. I commend the motion.

MR KAINE (4.15): I must say that I support the thrust of this proposal from Ms Tucker, and I commend Mr Moore on diverting us from the purpose of this debate. As I understood it, we were discussing a motion on the social and economic impacts of gambling, not the source of political party funding. He managed to divert us quite successfully from the thrust of this motion.

I support this motion, Mr Speaker, because I think it is time that we had a look at the whole question of gambling. The ACT is not alone in this. There is considerable concern in other parts of the world about gambling. There is a groundswell of opinion building up in the United States, for example, questioning the proliferation of gambling in many forms, including casinos, poker machines and the like. For once, we might be at the forefront of this questioning. Instead of following along 10 years behind the United States, we may well be ahead of them. I think it is time that we looked at it.

I support the notion of a moratorium. Mr Moore talked about binding the hands of the Government. I would think that until we have the results of an inquiry such as this, if you are going to undertake it, we should not be doubling or tripling the number of places in the ACT where poker machines can be available. If it is in the Government's mind, for example, to extend poker machines into hotels and other places, that is something that I believe they should not even contemplate until this select committee reports. If that is what Mr Moore meant when he suggested that we are binding the hands of the Government, I can only suggest that perhaps it is a good thing that we bind them in that way. Until we know what the social and economic impacts of gambling are, I think it would be most unwise to open the floodgates to putting poker machines wherever people have a mind to put them - at the local supermarket, in the local newsagency, or perhaps down at the bus stop so that you can stick a few 20c pieces in before you hop on the bus.

When we brought poker machines into this place many years ago they were confined to licensed clubs for a damn good reason. They were confined to there because they could be there only with the approval of the majority of the members of that club, and it confined the access of people to them. In theory, at least, only members of that club had access to them. They were not to be open to the general public. I have seen nothing since that would change my view about that, although this inquiry may persuade me, at the end of day, that we should change our view even about that. I think, after 20 years,

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