Page 127 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 8 December 2004

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In the recent report issued only yesterday and delivered into the Assembly, you can see the significant contributions a lot of the clubs who have these provisions make. I mentioned Ainslie: they made community contributions of $1.594 million in the 2003-04 year. In my own electorate the Belconnen Magpies Sports Club contributed $289,500; and the Belconnen Soccer Club contributed $476,000. The contribution of the Labor Club was $1,109,000. I am not sure what the arrangements of the Southern Cross Club are, but let us go down south to Tuggeranong, where the contribution was $2,633,000. Even the Woden Tradesmen’s Club contributed $377,000; and the Yowani Country Club’s contribution was $448,345. That is just an example of some of the significant contributions these clubs make to the ACT.

It is a system that has served us well, but it is of concern. What my bill would purport to do, and in fact does, is simply bring back the status quo that has worked. Having said that, there are a number of issues still facing the club industry. There is still the issue of several—and I am pleased to say it is only several—pseudo clubs which were started effectively by individuals, which have absolutely no associated group backing, which is causing concern.

I understand that those are points the government might well be taking up. That is certainly something the opposition will continue to look at. The particular protection I have in here in no way affects the ability of the commission to deal with those problems. Hopefully that is something the government is considering. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Quinlan) adjourned to the next sitting.

Bushfires—coronial inquest

MR SPEAKER: Before you proceed, Mr Stefaniak, I have given lengthy consideration to this motion. It is a motion that has the potential to raise serious sub judice issues here in the Assembly, because of its potential to create debate that would go to issues that would likely find themselves before the court. There has been a large public debate about this outside of the Assembly and people may argue: “Well, there has been a debate outside of the Assembly; would it hurt to have a continuing debate in this place?” I say to you that the court is able to defend itself outside of the Assembly; it may find people in contempt of the rulings of the courts from time to time, but the court is unable to defend itself here. That role falls to me and my implementation of the standing orders.

What I am saying to you in a roundabout way is that I think there is a likelihood that this debate will be a very thin one because it is very hard to avoid questions of sub judice in dealing with this matter. I will err on the side of safety: if members contributing to the debate touch on issues that I feel may find their way to the court, I will prevent the debate from continuing along those lines.

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra) (10.42): I move:

That this Assembly directs the Attorney-General to:

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