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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 9 Hansard (22 August) . . Page.. 3190 ..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

If the evidence in the report backs what Mr Rugendyke is proposing then I will stand up in this place and apologise for calling him a "pontificating control freak". That is what I think he is at the moment. I think he is just attention grabbing-he is trying to grab the headlines before the report comes out. If the report backs the point which Mr Rugendyke is making, I will stand up in this place and take back what I have said. But if this legislation gets passed today, there is no way in the wide world, for as long as God makes little apples, I am going to do it.

Mr Speaker, I have got a funny feeling yet again. I suggest that we return to the glory days of when Mr Moore sat on the crossbench, put a black handkerchief on his head and said, "This is going to be the case, my boy." I suspect that that will be the case today. I urge Mr Moore to be consistent and scientific in his approach and say, "Look, I'm not going to make a judgment until the trial is finished." The result of that trial will be delivered to us in two weeks time. We should have enough time left within the life of this Assembly to deal with it and I am urging Mr Moore to be guided by that argument.

Mr Speaker, once again I voice my strong objection to the insinuation from the Chief Minister that we are on the take from the clubs. If a donation of $300 to me over a period of five years is on the take, well, sorry about that. I suspect that there are other members here who have received a direct benefit of considerably greater sums than that. To save you looking up the record, the club that made the donation was the Buffalo's Leagues Club down in Tuggeranong. Because they are a struggling club, let me advertise their services: those of you who have never been down there, pay them a visit; but don't go down there at 3 o'clock in the morning because they are not open at that time. They close earlier than that because their patrons do not want them to stay open.

The same thing happens at the City Club. Mr Osborne, as a co-patron-he is probably the main patron-of that club would know that it is pointless going down there at half-past eleven at night because not only is it closed but there is not a person in the precinct.

Mr Speaker, I urge members not to go along with this piece of legislation at this time. Let us see the evidence. Let us join together. Let us be bipartisan in our attack on this insidious problem. Let us not fight over who is going to get the publicity. Let us fix up the problem.

MR OSBORNE (4.53): Mr Speaker, I am going to be as gentle as I possible can. I will not be supporting this bill-I have made my views known to Mr Rugendyke-and I want to spend a couple of minutes explaining why.

I think this is the first major piece of club poker machine legislation that I have been able to vote on in nearly seven years in this place. For many years I had the luxury of being able to rule myself out of voting because of my football and other commitments with the West Belconnen Leagues Club. This finished over a year ago. In the past Ms Tucker constantly berated me for allegedly taking the easy way out on club legislation. She felt that I should have voted. However, given that I was receiving a benefit, direct or indirect, I felt the wisest thing to do was not to take part. So it has been interesting to participate in this debate.

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