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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 8 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 2551 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

I also note, Mr Speaker, that the cost is likely to be significant. Presently, non-chair members of the Casino Surveillance Authority are paid about $15,500 a year. We have to assume that, because this body will have a wider range of responsibilities, that fee would be larger - let us say $20,000 a year. That does not include travel costs, attendance at conferences and things like that. We are looking at somewhere between $40,000 and $50,000 a year extra for these two members. We are not in favour of that but, having said that, I acknowledge that the numbers are not with us on that.

However, of the two alternatives before us, Mr Quinlan's and Ms Tucker's, I would support Mr Quinlan's. I think that it is appropriate to have more flexibility than is provided for in Ms Tucker's amendment, so I will say that about it. There is one thing about the amendment which troubles me a little; I have only just noticed it. It is that Ms Tucker's amendment refers to a person having knowledge, experience or qualifications relating to providing counselling services to problem gamblers, and Mr Quinlan's amendment refers to having "knowledge, experience and qualifications related to providing counselling services to problem gamblers". I am a bit concerned that we might find it a little bit restrictive to find somebody with all of those things. If Mr Quinlan is - - -

Mr Quinlan: I am happy to change that to "or".

MR HUMPHRIES: That would be great, Mr Speaker.

MS TUCKER (5.24): I will be supporting this amendment because I think that it is better than what Mr Humphries would offer. Obviously, Mr Quinlan has found a place where we are all more comfortable than being at the other end of the spectrum. I take Mr Humphries' point on the number of members of the commission. The reason we thought it was good to have four or five members was that that enabled one representative of the industry to be there, which I understood the Government wanted at one stage. That is why we expanded the membership. However, as it is now, I still support having the greater number of people because of the unwillingness to be prescriptive.

I am just hoping that that will make it more likely that there will be a reasonable balance of world views, if you like, represented on this commission. If my last amendment does not get up, it is quite possible that we will end up with industry representatives on it anyway. The evidence that came through our committee really clearly and, once again, the Productivity Commission was that there should not be industry people on such a commission. As it is going to end up that we will have total discretion given to the Minister of the day, I think it is probably useful to have a greater number of people on it because we might get broader representation.

Mr Quinlan was concerned about industry expertise not being there. I remind members that a clause has been passed which requires consultation. Of course the commission would be required to consult with industry people and it would want to have the expertise of the industry. I would have thought that would be obvious. But there is a requirement in this legislation for that to occur, so you could easily hold them accountable if it did not occur.

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