Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 7 Hansard (4 June) . . Page.. 1817 ..
MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):
Members should support this legislation but not support a system which depletes funding of the community in order to meet a particular requirement, a system which takes from the hands of organisations which are worthy and deserving of support in order to meet the objective of better supporting women's sport. That is what this legislation does.
There are ways of achieving this goal without that reduction. We should take the opportunity in this debate today to achieve that outcome and to preserve the integrity of a system which has been very important in lifting the amount of money going into community organisations in this territory.
MRS DUNNE (11.47): I rise to support the comments made by the Leader of the Opposition and to add my concerns about the proposal put forward by the Labor Party. The community contribution regime under the gaming machine legislation was hard fought and opposed at all steps by the Labor Party. Like the Leader of the Opposition, I am pleased that the Labor Party have suddenly become converts to the system.
But I am unhappy because the bill reduces the pool of money available to community organisations. It does this by inflating the value of contributions to a particular sector. The risk is that this scheme will skew the community contribution system in all other sectors. It is regressive, because it encourages clubs not to give to charities, not to give to community groups, not to give to men's sport; it encourages clubs only to give to women's sport by inflating the value of the money they give to women's sport.
In addition, it creates for the club sector an enormous administrative nightmare. I went through the last report on the operation of the community contribution scheme and looked at the organisations mentioned. I will give one example of an organisation I know. The Brindabella Blades Ice Skating Club receives assistance from clubs to run their operations. I know about this group because I used to be a parent member, and at least one of my children was a member.
Can the Treasurer tell me whether a contribution to the Brindabella Blades Ice Skating Club would be a contribution to women's sport? Most of the active members of the club are girls, but a substantial number are boys. Does it mean that the licensed club that makes a contribution to them has to work out how many girls and how many boys there are in the club? Come on, let us be frank.
Mr Quinlan: That would be hard!
MRS DUNNE: It would be, because the membership changes from time to time. That is only one example. Just think about the amount of administration you are adding to voluntary organisations such as an ice skating club or a pony club that have both boy and girl members. You are perpetuating that across the licensed clubs who have to account for their contributions.
This is a regressive system that undermines the whole thrust of the community contribution scheme, which was essentially aimed at ensuring that licensed clubs contribute to the wide community. This bill discourages clubs from contributing to the wide community.