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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (28 May) . . Page.. 690 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

While doing nothing and total prohibition are not realistic options, the Government recognises the serious impact that gambling can have on problem gamblers, their families and the wider Australian community. This Government has decided that a husband, wife or other significant person may apply to have an order placed upon a problem gambler, banning them from participating in interactive gambling until the order is revoked or reviewed. This move is unprecedented in the ACT, and is an indication of the Government's commitment to protecting not only the problem gamblers but also their families and loved ones.

I wish to stress, Mr Speaker, that it is not possible to regulate interactive gambling effectively without the cooperative efforts of all governments to address and resolve a number of complex technical and regulatory issues associated with this emerging new technology. It is important, therefore, to recognise at this stage that this legislation is an honest and serious attempt by the Government to regulate interactive games. If the ACT is to keep pace with this constantly evolving technological environment, the Government recognises that the legislation will require further amendments. This will ensure that the ACT regulatory framework continues to provide an appropriately controlled environment within which consumers may confidently participate in approved gambling activities. In conclusion, Mr Speaker, the measures contained in this Bill again demonstrate the Government's commitment to providing a gambling environment in the ACT which protects the interests of the community from unscrupulous operators.

Debate (on motion by Mr Quinlan) adjourned.


MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (10.59): Mr Speaker, I present the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration (Amendment) Bill 1998, together with its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

The Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration (Amendment) Bill 1998 contains minor technical amendments which ensure that current charges for registration or changes of name will continue. It will also, for consistency, allow the Registrar-General to charge a fee for noting a change of sex on a person's birth record. The Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1997 was drafted in accordance with a model adopted by the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General. Although other States which have adopted the model are charging fees for registration of changes of name and for noting changes of name and sex, there was some doubt whether this was strictly possible in the ACT context. These amendments clarify the law and ensure that the current policy of fees remains unchanged.

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