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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (20 October) . . Page.. 3384 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

The clubs are using a lot of the money to compete with the private sector. I do not have a problem with them competing with the private sector. I like competition. I think it is great. But we should not allow money that was gained from a monopoly given by this house to be used to compete with the private sector, which does not have the same benefits. I hope that everyone in this place would support competition on a level paying field. That is all we are asking for.

If members opposite have problems with the way this report is put together, please put them in writing. Tell us where you think we should change it. But remember that there is $92.3m of net gaming machine revenue here. How much do we believe should go back to the broader community?

Mr Berry: It all goes back.

MS CARNELL: All of it. Spot on. All of it, as Mr Berry says. I do not believe - and I know my colleagues do not believe, although Mr Berry probably does - that that money should be used to make alcohol cheaper than it would be otherwise or to artificially subsidise things that are in direct competition with other employers in our community.

MS TUCKER (3.55): The report of the Commissioner for ACT Revenue on contributions made by gaming machine licensees to charitable or community organisations is useful in identifying contributions made by clubs, although I do note the concerns raised by Mr Quinlan about how accurately it represents what clubs are donating to and the nature of some of the organisations. I do think it is useful to see this sort of information, and I support some of the concerns raised by Mrs Carnell. This document shows that we are talking about an incredible amount of money. The Government has been trying to address this issue by asking for this sort of information. Whether it is perfect or not, it is a good start. As Mrs Carnell said, Labor could contribute to making the report a more accurate representation if they so desired.

This information has been used as a rationale for the proposals from government to bring about a way of regulating how money is spent. As the Assembly knows, I have been calling on the Government to support a different response, the one that came out of the Select Committee on Gambling and the Productivity Commission's draft report on gambling, recently supported by the AMA. It is also supported by ACTCOSS. We confirmed that today. The proposal is to create a 1.5 per cent levy. The 1.5 per cent is negotiable if we need to have discussion on that, but the proposal is to have a levy on net gaming machine revenue and to link the levy directly to a community benefit fund, administered by the Government's Gambling and Racing Commission, for the purpose of funding gambling specific research, public education, counselling and rehabilitation programs.

I am also recommending, as the select committee did, that a Gambling and Racing Commission Bill establish a community reference group to advise the new commission on funding priorities for the community benefit fund. It is clear that the revenues that the licensed clubs earn from gambling machines come at a cost to some individuals and their families, ACT businesses and the wider community. As I always say, while I am

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