Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 1002 ..
MR MOORE (continuing):
This is appalling hypocrisy because Ms Tucker knows very well that we have not had an opportunity to deal with this legislation; we have only just had enough time to work out that it is an appalling and inadequate piece of legislation. When we get to the legislation, I will talk about that. What will happen, Mr Speaker, if we proceed now with this piece of legislation, is that we will have a very inadequate piece of legislation indeed. That is not to confuse the issue of whether or not there should be a cap. I do not have a problem with a cap. In fact, I approve of the notion of putting a cap on the number of poker machines. I do not believe it would make very much difference at all in percentage terms if this were to wait for an adequate amount of time.
Mr Speaker, there has been issue after issue on which other members of parliament have come to Ms Tucker and said, "We feel that this is a very important issue, and it should be dealt with quickly because there are important ramifications". But, no; we could not deal with those. Because we are dealing with gambling, because Ms Tucker believes it is an important issue, because she believes gambling is an important issue, because she believes we have too many poker machines and because she wants to investigate that in detail, it is now a different story. Suddenly, we should all bend over backwards and say, "Yes; of course, we have to do this quickly". We ought not do it as quickly as this. It is an inappropriate way to deal with legislation. It will give us a very poor outcome in terms of the legislation if it is pushed through; and it ought not go through today. I am asking members, rather than dealing with this piece of legislation now, not to allow the suspension of standing orders; to vote against the suspension of standing orders to deal with this legislation.
One of the amendments to this legislation arrived on my desk during the break. It was dated 5.28 this evening. Since that time we have hardly had enough time - - -
Mr Kaine: That was last evening, Michael; that was yesterday.
MR MOORE: Mr Kaine interjects that it was yesterday. He is correct. It was 5.28 last evening, since it is now half past 12 in the morning. To be debating this issue at half past 12, in the early hours of the morning, having been given just a few hours' notice of the legislation, is entirely and completely inappropriate; it is entirely inconsistent with the number of approaches that Ms Tucker has made to us. When I approached her and asked her would she reconsider this position, she made it very clear that she would not. I also made it very clear that I would take the opportunity to say the sorts of things that I have just said. It is entirely inappropriate for us to proceed with this legislation now. We ought not support this suspension of standing orders to deal with this piece of legislation now.
MR KAINE (12.31 am): Mr Speaker, I am appalled that Mr Moore is appalled, because the only implication of his argument is that somehow this is Ms Tucker's private Bill and there are no precedents for this. The fact is that only three weeks ago this house passed a resolution requiring that a cap be put on poker machines in licensed clubs. In consequence of that resolution, a select committee of this Assembly examined that matter and on Tuesday tabled some draft legislation. Ms Tucker has done some more work on that since then. But this is not Ms Tucker's private business; in fact, it is implementing a resolution of this place of three weeks ago. If Mr Moore does not like the draft legislation that has been put forward - and there has been consultation;