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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 9 Hansard (22 August) . . Page.. 3189 ..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

at the Lanyon marketplace to help him cope with the family problems brought on by problem gambling? I will tell you where the assistance is, Mr Rugendyke: it is in Bruce Stadium, the V8 car race, Hall/Kinlyside, et cetera.

Do not talk to us about not giving support. You should talk about the Treasurer not putting his money where his mouth is. The mealy-mouthed Treasurer is saying, "This is fine. We will close the clubs between 3 and 6 in the morning. That is going to be wonderful. We are going to can $87,000 out of the club industry." Is he going to give the $87,000 to Lifeline to fix up the problem? Short answer-no way. Where is the proof that problem gamblers are at clubs between 3 and 6 in the morning? There is not any.

Essentially the first plank of our opposition to this piece of legislation is that it is a big crock. It is really stupid. As far as I am concerned, it is an attempt to grab attention by putting forward a right-wing rabid conservative viewpoint to give Mr Rugendyke some cheap headlines at the expense of people with a hassle.

Mr Rugendyke should wait to see what is in the report that will be released in two weeks time. Let us see the report. That report might say that clubs should be closed between 3 and 6. So let us debate this issue when we have got the facts in front of us. But, no, Mr Rugendyke knows better than these experts. He knows better than the academics who have spent some time checking out the situation. What has he done? He has spoken to Lifeline. Good start-I am not knocking that-but where is the rest of it?

What Mr Rugendyke is doing is ignoring or pre-empting what is going to come down in the report. Either he is really good at gazing into his teapot and having a look at the tea leaves, which I doubt, or he has got some insider information-he has been involved in insider trading. I will bet he did not get that information at 3 o'clock in the morning. I will bet you, Mr Deputy Speaker, that Mr Rugendyke is tucked up nice and snug in bed between 3 o'clock and 6 o'clock in the morning. He would not know what type of people go to clubs at that time of the day because I do not think he would ever have been at a club at 3 o'clock in the morning.

I want to make a request to Mr Moore. I know that in our hearts we would all like to stop problem gamblers. We all would like to introduce regimes to protect these people from themselves. I do not know how many members have been hypnotised by the sound of poker machines. I suspect that not too many of them have. Well, let me tell you: I have and I do not mind sticking up my hand and saying that it is a hypnotic thing. Like many people in this place, if they were prepared to admit it, I have left a club having spent $10 more on poker machines than I would have preferred to have done. Imagine the pain of people who leave clubs with their whole pay packet missing. It is pretty horrendous. So stop talking this nonsense about us not having any feelings about this problem. Let us get the facts.

In my time as a member of the Assembly Mr Moore has always said, "Show me the evidence. If your evidence is right then that's the way I am going to go. End of story. If you don't like it, that's your bad luck." To be quite honest, I have never known Mr Moore to jump in and pre-empt a decision. On this occasion I appeal to Mr Moore to say, "Let us wait until the evidence comes down."

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