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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 2519 ..

MRS BURKE (continuing):

do not agree to this, we are not giving our smaller taverns and clubs the opportunity. We are being very unfair and unreasonable.

Some of the comments made have been very close to inferring that small tavern and hotel owners do not act responsibly in relation to the care of their patrons, and it seems that only the big clubs can manage. Therefore, they will have the machines. They are the only responsible ones. Not so. I object to that. I think that is downright wrong, and I think it is rude to suggest that. I would suggest that the opposite is true. In a small venue there would be a better opportunity for owners and landlords to exercise a duty of care over their patrons. I will be supporting Mr Stefaniak on his move here, and I urge other members of this Assembly to give careful consideration to the bill.


(6.09), in reply: I thank members for their contribution.

Mr Stanhope

: Is this your bill, Bill?


: It is, Jon. I was a little bit worried initially, with Mr Quinlan doing a 30-second burst and only Ms Dundas in the chamber, but it has ended up a reasonable debate. I think my colleague Mrs Burke made some excellent points, and I will go through some of the comments other speakers have made.

Mr Quinlan was very brief. He stated the Labor Party's position of going for not-for-profit. A big problem for the Labor Party in this is the absolute hypocrisy of their position. They receive significant funds from clubs-over $300,000. Indeed, 20 per cent of the pokies reside in the Labor Club group, so Labor have a conflict of interest in any debate on poker machines. I would have liked Mr Quinlan to say a little bit more, but he did not, so we will leave that there. He is, at least, predictable. I did not expect the Labor Party to budge on this one iota, and I think that is quite sad.

Mr Quinlan

: Scratchies bad, pokies good.


: Could you control him please, Mr Speaker? I will come to Ms Dundas, if members just shut up. Ms Dundas talked about problem gambling. She made some good points, too, in relation to not-for-profit. She stated that other forms of gambling run by organisations are not necessarily not-for-profit.

Newsagents come to mind. Talk about the ubiquitous scratchie, which we have heard a lot about around here lately in terms of the budget. You can get that at newsagents; you can get lotto tickets. There is a small commission, not much at all. But newsagents are not not-for-profit organisations. They are business people, they are a very important part of our community, and they get some money from gambling. Someone mentioned the casino. That is a for-profit organisation that has gambling. There are, as Ms Dundas correctly says, a lot of organisations that receive money from gambling and are not for profit.

Ms Dundas makes some very good points on how machines are allocated, and she has cited an example recently. The gaming commission has proved to be pretty tough and rigorous in how it does things. She mentioned the cap being extended. In my bill this is all done within the cap. It enables class C machines or B machines to be distributed

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