Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 8 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 2558 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

The amendment has the effect of streamlining the ineligibility criteria for membership of the Gambling and Racing Commission.

MS TUCKER (5.38): I would not mind a bit more in explanation. Is that the one where you have taken out the words "an animal used for racing"?

Mr Humphries: Yes.

MS TUCKER: "Streamlining" is a lovely word, but I want a bit more detail.

MR HUMPHRIES (Treasurer, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Community Safety) (5.39): The amendment is in contradiction with your amendment on the green sheet. I can see why you are taking that position. The amendment removes the restriction that would render ineligible for appointment to the commission any person who has an interest or any person whose spouse has an interest in any animal used in racing. The retention of that restriction would overly limit the range of individuals who could be considered for appointment to the commission, denying the commission access to available expertise and experience. Mr Speaker, I think it is reasonable not to have on the commission a person who has a very direct interest in some activity of gaming, but including a person whose spouse has an interest in a greyhound might be an overly restrictive restriction on who might be properly on the commission.

MS TUCKER (5.40): I would argue against that because I think that this is getting once again to that key issue of whether the community is going to have confidence in this body. Confidence is at an all-time low in the community in terms of whether we have as policy-makers any real interest in these issues of consumer protection. I know that there are different views about what is appropriate for people in public positions, as demonstrated in this Assembly yesterday, but I believe that the community does want to see really clear and strict guidelines so that people cannot be seen to have some vested interest or conflict of interest in their very important public roles. That is why I think we need to be very clear that that will not be the case with this commission.

MR QUINLAN (5.41): Mr Speaker, I spent many years of my life wishing to become known as a well-known colourful racing identity. To that end, at one stage of my life I purchased, I think, a 2 per cent share in a racehorse, which I still have. I hardly think that that should disqualify me from sitting on this commission and making objective judgments. Ms Tucker may be surprised at just how many people in this town do have an interest in a racehorse or greyhound.. I would refer back to something I said earlier. I would hope that this commission will be populated, at least in part, by people who have a thorough understanding of what we are talking about. In particular, that may have to include people who have some interest in an animal used for racing. Obviously, someone who is steeped in the industry and dependent on it for income as well as a primary interest would be in a different position from me, but I think that this is being overly restrictive and I agree with Mr Humphries.

MS TUCKER: I seek leave to speak again to the amendment.

Leave granted.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .