Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 8 Hansard (27 October) . . Page.. 2287 ..
MR MOORE (continuing):
It may well be entirely appropriate, instead of attempting to put a taxation regime into place, for us to encourage an approach that requires of clubs a certain percentage of their profits to go to specific charities, perhaps ones that they nominate or perhaps ones nominated from a list that is approved by the Assembly. Mr Speaker, there is a range of innovative ways that we can deal with this and ensure that the community does very well.
We have a community, Mr Speaker, that is crying out for help in many, many ways. I am aware of people who are ageing who need more respite care, of people with disabilities who need more respite care and financial support. I juggle a limited budget to try to find money to support those sorts of things, so, I must say, when I see the levels of contributions made by the clubs, I am bitterly disappointed that that is the attitude that is prevalent in Canberra. So there are two main issues. The first one is the offer from Mr Quinlan in this chamber, and it is something that I would like to work with. I would like to work with him in a non-partisan way and put aside the political point-scoring, of which I have been - - -
Mr Berry: Yours is political, and always has been from the start. It has nothing to do with the community.
MR MOORE: I have been quite blatant about it. I have been politically point-scoring on this issue of clubs mercilessly, Mr Berry.
Mr Berry: And you were wrong all the time.
MR MOORE: I have been accusing the Labor Party of it. I have done it mercilessly. I am saying that, if we can work together to get a reasonable outcome, I am happy to put that aside. Mr Speaker, you will note that I have not attempted to do any political point-scoring in this debate today. Certainly, I am capable of it, and, certainly, I have done it on many occasions in the past. In fact, I intended to do it again today, Mr Speaker. When I heard a genuine offer from Mr Quinlan I wanted to respond positively because all my dealings with Mr Quinlan have been on an aboveboard basis. So, Mr Speaker, I am very keen to see whether we can do that. That is the first thing.
The second thing is that the Select Committee on Gambling ought to look at this and say, "Is there really a valid reason for us to say that one group within the community ought to have a monopoly in this area to the exclusion of others, particularly when we make public health demands like the smoking requirements that are coming into place in November in respect of both clubs and pubs?". Mr Speaker, I think we now have an opportunity for a fresh start. I am very pleased about that, and I am very keen to work with other people and see whether we can get a better outcome.
MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (3.53): I will make a very brief contribution to the debate, Mr Speaker. I want to pick up primarily the point that I think, regrettably, has not been made by Mr Humphries or Mr Moore, and that is the service which clubs provide to their members. To debate the enormous service provided by clubs to the community in isolation of their dollar contribution, or in-kind contribution, to charities, sporting groups and other community organisations really does distort the picture.