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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 9 Hansard (22 August) . . Page.. 3197 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

Let me go to some of the other issues that worry me in relation to members' comments on this bill. Mr Moore, who boasts about his academic qualifications, which have been hard earned and which he is entitled to boast about, has always, on the face of it, taken an evidence-based approach to his decision-making. That is what you would expect of somebody in Mr Moore's position, particularly after listening to Mr Moore for years about the necessity of trials-which I agree with-in relation to drug issues. It is important to consider the emphasis that he has been placing on harm minimisation, the failure of prohibition, and other issues which he has been harping on in this place. But he seems to be able to find a reason to ignore evidence-based decision-making in the context of harm minimisation.

Mr Speaker, now that I have finished with Mr Moore, I will move to Ms Tucker. Ms Tucker today passionately argued for a working party to look at the sport and health arrangements in our schools. She passionately argued for an evidence-based approach to the tender process for schools. I thought that was a sensible idea. But in just a few hours, Ms Tucker has abandoned her commitment to that philosophy. She argued, quite rightly, that we ought to have an evidence-based approach to putting in place sport and health programs in our schools. I supported her fully because I believe in what she is doing. Ms Tucker is recognised and applauded for her commitment to process, and I think she would boast that she is committed to process and worries about it quite a lot.

Ms Tucker: I worry about problem gambling, too.

MR BERRY: We have heard her worry about process in this place. She interjects that she worries about problem gambling. We all do, Ms Tucker. But if we are going to make a decision about this, just let us make it on the evidence. In two or three weeks time the Gambling and Racing Commission will come down with their report in which they might say, "Look, those early morning hours"-and I do not think they are going to say this, by the way; it just beggars belief-"are a problem for problem gamblers." I reckon if you close a place down at 10 o'clock at night, there would still be problem gamblers. Let's stop kidding ourselves.

I heard Mr Osborne mention lights and note machines and all those sorts of things. Off the top of my head and without any evidence at all, I would say that the big note machines are a problem. But I would not be prepared to stand up and say they should be banned without listening to some evidence on the subject first. People in this place are trying to ban clubs from opening at a particular hour in the morning because it is easy to do that sort of thing.

There has been some concern about problem gambling. Ms Tucker has expressed her concerns about it. Although this arrangement will have least impact on most people at that time in the morning, you will be praised for your work on problem gambling. But you have not dealt with the issue. All you have done is taken a populist approach which does not deal with the problem.

As Mr Stanhope and I have said, if the Gambling and Racing Commission comes back in a few weeks time and says that that time of the morning is the problem, we will vote to close clubs at that time forever. But I do not think they are going to say that. They are going to say a lot of other things to us. Ms Tucker has said to me that if they find that the

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