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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 3 Hansard (24 March) . . Page.. 726 ..

MS CARNELL: If it is not about slowing down a club establishing in the casino, what in heaven's name is it about?

Mr Kaine: It is about Ministers making unfettered decisions, something Mr Moore has been very fond of.

MS CARNELL: Every single decision of every Minister would be disallowable, if that is the argument. That is patently ridiculous in the Westminster system. (Extension of time granted) That is a patently ridiculous scenario. There is no doubt what this Bill is about. It is to stop a club setting up in the casino. That is all it is about. If we are going to have consistency of outcome, we will have the same sort of disallowance on the establishment of every new club in the ACT. That will go down like a lead balloon with the LCA and the other clubs, so I ask members of this Assembly, before they vote for this legislation, to look at exactly what the scenario is here or what this is about.

When we pass legislation in this place, we always must look at what the legislation does. Mr Kaine says that this Bill is about a Minister being able to make a decision unfettered by the Assembly. Ministers make lots of decisions. In fact, that is the Westminster system of government. We have this thing called an Executive that makes decisions all the time. It is not about that at all; it is simply about the club establishing in the casino.

Let us concentrate now on three things. The first is what Mr Kaine is trying to do with this Bill. The second is that he has in the Bill a date that is patently ridiculous and unnecessary. The third is whether we want a six-month delay for clubs setting up in the ACT. In this particular case, it will be for one club, but if we are serious about it we will extend that to all clubs, for fairness and for equity. I do not think that is what this Assembly is really after. I am sure that if the Labor Club bought another tavern and wanted to change it into a club Mr Quinlan and those opposite would not want that decision to be disallowable and have to wait six months for the capacity to go ahead.

Let us be sensible about this. Let us look at what we are doing rather than the politics. The politics on this one are more confused than you could ever imagine. Let us make a sensible decision.

MR QUINLAN (11.13): Mr Speaker, first of all, let me clear the air and say that I have no direct association with the Canberra Labor Club other than being a member of it. I am also somewhat bemused by the relevance-irrelevance argument of the Chief Minister. If it is irrelevant, why have we spent so much time discussing it?

To be very brief, the principle behind this legislation is not dissimilar to that behind a Bill that amended the Territory Owned Corporations Act. I brought that Bill to this place and it was passed in the last sitting week. I am advised that it is consistent with legislation brought to this place by Mr Moore over the years - in his more enlightened years, I understand. Given our position on past occasions to the relationship between the Executive and the Assembly, we can do nothing but support the Bill.

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