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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 7 Hansard (4 June) . . Page.. 1827 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

Moreover, we are yet to hear the final results of the Gambling and Racing Commission's review of the Gaming Machine Act. The commission, I understand, did not have any real input into this proposal. It was presented as something the government was committed to doing, so it was not subjected to the kind of informed consideration that I would hope the independent Gambling and Racing Commission is there to provide. The commission came up with a rough idea of how much went to easily identifiable women's sport-roughly half a million dollars-but this is not clear data.

The Labor Party may well have developed this proposal by thinking through all the possible impacts and thinking through what the target is and how they can ensure that the ends will be what they say. But given that we do not have any clear regulations to consider along with this bill and given that there is no clear data to inform us, it is hard to come to grips with this reasoning.

While the government funding of women's sport for the last year exceeds (a bit) that for men's sport by more than the difference between the participation rate for women in sport and that for men, is this really the limit of government's responsibility for this problem? I acknowledge also that the Treasurer announced in December that there would be funding to develop community sport and recreation programs for women and older people, and I am aware that the government is supporting women's sport to review its direction and programs.

Healthpact last year gave grants towards various physical activities and sports, including dancing. That is another program that could bring attention to the relative impact on women. But it is still not clear why we are doing this ad hoc thing. I would like us instead to understand the problem and then effectively address it. The Standing Committee on Health is looking at the health of school-aged children, and a number of sports groups are talking to the committee about these sorts of issues. The issue of girls and sport is going to be addressed by this committee. I hope this committee work will be useful to everyone in the Assembly in understanding why there is less participation by women and young girls.

I will talk to the amendments when they are moved.

Finally, the Greens want to see genuine work to improve women's participation in sports and other activities, but we are not convinced this bill is a useful tool. It pre-empts the work of the Gambling and Racing Commission. We cannot see what the impacts of this bill will be. It sets a precedent. Both Mr Humphries' amendment and the Labor Party's proposal set a precedent. It would be perfectly justifiable for any community organisation to lobby members of this place for a similar incentive for their area. They would be able to argue that their area was a priority, as women's sports groups have argued to government that their area is a priority. It is not a good form of policy. This bill is fraught with problems we will have to deal with if it is passed, and I understand that it will be passed. I think it is a mistake, even though I am very sympathetic to the intention of it.

Debate (on motion by Mr Wood ) adjourned to a later hour.

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