Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (28 May) . . Page.. 784 ..
MR STEFANIAK (continuing):
We are also planning a wide range of facilities and services for the aged population in the Charnwood, West Belconnen area, one group who certainly appear to have been forgotten by our social planners.
Very little of the above is attainable without access to gaming machines to provide income for the Club. We are presently negotiating with a range of potential tenants to join us in the facility. This will lessen our reliance on gaming machine income and enable a greater disbursement of profits for community and sporting uses.
The tender process which led to Belwest involvement included provision for a licensed club and recreational and community facilities to be included in the redevelopment.
A draft Preliminary Assessment has been submitted to Government and a final is about to be submitted. Final negotiation on financing are under way and the next step was an application for a gaming licence for 100 machines.
To enable this much needed development to proceed, gaming machines are an integral part of the proposal. Without access to machines, none of the above will proceed.
He then talks about having the opportunity to discuss the matter further. I will table his letter to me, Mr Speaker, as I indicated to him I would. The proposal, to my knowledge, is very well supported by the Charnwood and West Belconnen community. It would provide an excellent facility for the local community. The letter, I think, speaks for itself in terms of whether that could proceed or not, were that club not successful in getting the 100 poker machines which it sought.
MS TUCKER (6.29): I will cover two issues. I will respond briefly to Mr Stefaniak's plea for the right for this club to have gaming machines. It is interesting. I was watching the 7.30 Report last night and there was one of the academics from Western Sydney University talking about gambling and saying the real problem we have is that government has turned from being the regulator of gambling to the promoter of gambling, and we have just seen a good example of that. Obviously, the committee will have an opportunity to look at these issues and assess the downsides as well as the good side, which we do hear about, obviously, from government quite a lot, being the promoter of this activity.
The other thing I would like to comment on tonight is the issue of the Competition Policy Forum. I am glad to see members rising in this house tonight to give support for this body. It was established as a result of a motion of the Assembly. It is a creature of the Assembly in that way and it has involved the work and energy of some very busy and capable members of our community. While they acknowledge, and I acknowledge,