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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 7 Hansard (23 September) . . Page.. 2080 ..

Casino Canberra - Licensed Club

MR RUGENDYKE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. Further to my questions about Casino Canberra in earlier sittings, I would like to explore details about the introduction of a licensed club on casino premises. To my knowledge, the casino operates under the Casino Control Act, which states that the casino is not permitted to operate gaming machines. Now that the casino has been granted a lease variation to house a licensed club on its premises, gaming machines will operate under the casino's roof. Under the Casino Control Act the Chief Minister only has to give notice by gazette that a section of the floor space is to be excluded from the Act and the licensed club will be cleared to commence its operations. Is the Chief Minister aware that she has the power to do this? Does she intend to issue such a notice?

MS CARNELL: I thank Mr Rugendyke for the question. At this stage there has been no approval whatsoever for poker machines, as I understand it, inside the area that may be deemed to be a club in the future. The decision on whether an application would be approved is not within my purview. It is in the hands of the Commissioner for ACT Revenue and she will follow, as she always does, the letter of the law to the nth degree. I can guarantee that that is the way Ms Tu Pham always operates. But at this stage there is no approval for poker machines anywhere.

Mr Rugendyke: The question was actually about your authority to pass this as a simple gazettal rather than by regulation.

MS CARNELL: The reason I answered it in the way I did is that there is no approval for poker machines in that particular space; so, we are talking in a hypothetical manner and I cannot answer a question that is hypothetical at this stage.

MR RUGENDYKE: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Has the Chief Minister received representations - - -

MR SPEAKER: You have asked a supplementary question.

Mr Stanhope: No, he wanted to get an answer.

MR SPEAKER: Order! You were clarifying a point, were you, Mr Rugendyke?

Mr Stanhope: He was.

Ms Carnell: Okay. Keep going.

MR SPEAKER: In that case, we might be here all day. Proceed.

MR RUGENDYKE: Has the Chief Minister received representations at any level raising concerns about changes to the casino? I refer to concerns such as the practical application of the liquor licensing laws because there will be a club in the casino operating under different regulations on the same floor space. If so, could the Chief Minister please outline these concerns and detail what measures are being implemented to address them?

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