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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 3 Hansard (24 March) . . Page.. 804 ..


Motion (by Mr Humphries ) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Casino Control Act - Mr Paul Whalan

MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (6.01): Mr Speaker, I speak about a matter of some seriousness. Early today the Assembly passed the Casino Control (Amendment) Bill which was introduced by Mr Kaine. This afternoon some more information came to light which I believe should be publicly disclosed. It is information that will be of interest to every member of this Assembly and the wider community as a whole because it highlights how one party chooses to operate in this place when it comes to putting political opportunism ahead of principles.

Mr Speaker, for the information of members, I table a letter sent by a representative of Casino Canberra to the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Stanhope, on 23 March. I am going to read this letter in full because if I do not it will be said that I have somehow misquoted it. The letter says:

Dear John,

Thank you for meeting last Friday to discuss the implications of the proposed Kaine amendments to the Casino Control Act.

We were greatly encouraged by your account of your lunch meeting that day with the Housing Industry Association when you gave the Association the assurance that it was Labor's view that once a development process had commenced, it should be allowed to proceed to completion without interference from legislators and administrators. Clearly you believe there should be no "shifting of the goalposts".

We were particularly heartened by your acknowledgment that the Kaine amendment created an identical situation in respect of the Casino Club proposal. In this case the Casino embarked three years ago on a course of action to change its Crown Lease purpose clause to enable the operation of a licensed club within the lease precinct. This was a process permitted by the law, subject to public scrutiny and objection, and was challenged unsuccessfully by the Dickson Tradesmans Club in four legal tribunals, with a further decision of the Federal Court pending.

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