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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 9 Hansard (22 August) . . Page.. 3192 ..

MR OSBORNE (continuing):

Mr Speaker, regardless of whether the Labor Club gives X amount of dollars, members will have to act according to their conscience. The standing orders do not require them to rule themselves out of voting. I am not going to point the finger. I made a decision which was different to theirs.

I think everybody in here is concerned about the kids and the mums and dads who are affected by problem gambling. What we need to do is look at ways of helping them, and I do not think that what Mr Rugendyke is trying to do will do that. If Mr Rugendyke's bill prohibited the use of notes, I think that would be a first step. It would make it a lot harder for people to put their money through. But by using notes they can put thousands of dollars through in a hour.

Mr Hargreaves: And $2 coins and $1 coins.

MR OSBORNE: And $2 coins. It is just crazy. A few years ago I did something similar to this in respect of liquor.

At 5.00 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the debate was interrupted. The motion for the adjournment of the Assembly having been put and negatived, the debate was resumed.

MR OSBORNE: Mr Speaker, the police had come to me and said, "We're having enormous problems with-

Ms Tucker: And Lifeline is saying that to us.

MR OSBORNE: Ms Tucker says Lifeline is saying that. Where is the main body of the problem, Mr Speaker?

Mr Berry: Where's the evidence?

MR OSBORNE: Where is the evidence? Well, it is going to be here soon. It is coming. Mr Speaker, I am trying to make the point that we can all throw accusations at one another. Turning the poker machines off will have some sort of impact but all the problem gamblers, those people addicted to gambling, will do is get into a car and go to the casino, which will still be open.

So we need to decide what we can do to help these people. I will support things like stopping notes being put into machines and removing EFTPOS from clubs. They are sensible things to do. They will make it a lot harder for the problem gamblers. If people want to use poker machines, fine, but we in this place have got to target measures that will help them. This legislation does not and that is why I will not be supporting it.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services) (5.01): Mr Hargreaves in particular directed a challenge to me, through the chair, to follow trials and make sure we had a look at evidence and so on. Indeed, where appropriate and possible, I do look at evidence and try to make evidence-based decisions.

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