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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 8 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 2543 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

They are very appropriate things and the Government will be supporting those amendments. But in acting to do that the commission should not be constrained by a view imposed on it by the Assembly that it should not at any stage develop gambling, gaming or racing in the ACT. I think we should allow the commission to do that, as appropriate, balanced against those things in the later amendments. That is the position of the Government and that is why I argue that we should not support this amendment of Ms Tucker's but support the foreshadowed amendment that the Government has on the table.

MR QUINLAN (4.56): The Opposition will support this amendment. Recent history and statistics have shown that gambling does not need any real developmental assistance from a government agency. The developing of the gambling industry does imply a promotional function and that may, from time to time, be at odds with what we see as the real job of this commission, that is, the regulation and control of gambling. As to Mr Humphries' example of Internet gambling, as far as I am concerned all we will need to do is to control and regulate it. There is no doubt that there are plenty of forces out there ready and willing to promote it. I think the same applies to virtually every other form of gambling, so we will support this amendment.

MR KAINE (4.57): I listened to what the Deputy Chief Minister said, but I have to come back to the basis on which Ms Tucker has put forward her amendment, which I support. The select committee looked at this matter quite closely. We took a good deal of evidence on just what the roles and functions of the gambling commission should be. There was some very strong evidence from a number of different sources to the effect that the development function should not be confused with the regulatory and other functions of the commission.

One of the strongest proponents of the separation of the two was, in fact, Professor Jan McMillen from the Australian Institute of Gambling Research, who was very strongly of the view that the commission ought to be a regulatory and licensing commission and ought not to be responsible also for the development of the industry. In fact, if the Government refers to its own report, the Allen report, it will find that that report did not support the inclusion of the developmental function within the role of the commission, either.

Strong evidence was put to the select committee that would suggest that the functions need to be separated. I do not necessarily agree wholeheartedly with Mr Quinlan's statement that the Government ought not to be in the business of developing the industry. I think that it is appropriate for the Government to be involved in certain aspects of developing the industry. The industry is, after all, a part of our economy. The industry is a significant contributor to the economy and there may well be reasons why the Government would wish to take positive action in some areas of the industry to lead to certain developments there. I do not object to that.

In our report, at recommendation 24, we suggested that the Government should retain a policy function within the Chief Minister's Department as opposed to within the commission and I would see it that any steps that the Government took to seek to develop the industry would be done through that policy organisation as part of the

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