Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 1010 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
costs as a result of problem gambling. This is also a huge cost to small businesses which, particularly now in Victoria, are realising the impact of increased gambling on their viability. Of course we are very concerned about affecting people in our community adversely by actions that we take in this place, and that is why, when we originally debated this, I was prepared to reconsider it, work with the drafters and the gaming commissioner to come up with a piece of legislation or work in the way that we needed to in order to actually put a cap in place.
Mrs Carnell said that all these amendments were put up today and that things have changed. Yes, thank you; thank you to the gaming commissioner; thank you to the drafters; thank you to Mrs Carnell. I thought that was a good cooperative effort. We have now come up with something that I believe will work.
I am quite happy to rebut some of the concerns Mr Moore has. This came up in the debate on prevalence. The Government does want to understand; so, it would be nice if they listened. This issue of whether or not the legislation is looked at by itself came up in the debate on prevalence in regard to sentencing, when it was explained quite clearly that those people administering that law - in that case the magistrates - look at the speech and the explanatory memorandum. The gaming commissioner looks at the committee's report and the explanatory memorandum as well. If Mr Moore actually had a look, he would find clarification on a number of concerns that he has.
Mr Moore: Not on (c). The corporate and financial relationships aspect is not mentioned in the explanatory memorandum or the report.
MS TUCKER: Yes, it is explained in the report.
Mr Moore: It is not.
MS TUCKER: I believe that it is; but I will check that for you. I am happy to explain "such other matters as are relevant". The gaming commissioner asked for that to go in. This is really about issues of membership drives and so on. There are other matters which are relevant and which can be looked at, and it is quite appropriate to have that in there.
The issue was raised of the one club that may be disadvantaged. As I said before, I am sorry if a club has been disadvantaged. There are probably going to be a number of clubs disadvantaged. Possibly other groups in the community will be disadvantaged. What we saw quite clearly after the first debate was that there was a huge demand for an increase in poker machines in the ACT. As I have already said and made quite clear, per capita we have a lot more poker machines in this place than Victoria or New South Wales has, and it is very important that we have this cap. For heaven's sake, this cap is for 12 months; this is not the end of the world. If a club wants to put up an extension, that 12 months is not likely to be a huge issue. They have not started building, according to Mrs Carnell, anyway.
The very reason that we put in that exception to the cap was for new clubs that could prove that they had expended significant amounts of funds and were well progressed and there would be community benefit. They are exactly the concerns that were raised in the last debate, and we have accommodated them. So I am very pleased that, in a minute,