Page 1555 - Week 05 - Thursday, 7 April 2005

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an old club which went into administration with a view to being bought out so it could continue. The Raiders—a big group of clubs—bought it out and they have continued to operate its affairs successfully.

The football club and other sporting amenities are all continuing there as a result of the merger. I certainly hope they continue after the, I think, three-year period that has been agreed to by the parties involved. We will wait and see. At least at this stage they are all continuing and the club is providing a service to the local community.

It would also probably be the case, were Dr Foskey’s amendment to succeed, that buyers would insist that the impact study should be a condition of sale. That would make it a costly impost on clubs already in a precarious financial situation. The requirement of a social impact study could end by costing the community dearly in loss of social and sporting amenities.

There is great fear that this would not help the industry, or indeed the community, but would actively dissuade new buyers or merger partners from taking on a club. The fact is that the clubs do a great deal of good in our community. Many sporting and social amenities have been provided as a result of the works of clubs in our territory.

It is costly running a business. The business is now more precarious than it has been at any time I can recall since the late 1970s or so when the poker machines came in, or indeed perhaps even earlier when they were not there. It is just a whole series of factors that make it more difficult for clubs and associations to operate, including the impact on what the Assembly sees as important legislation.

Accordingly, we will not be supporting Dr Foskey’s amendments. We note, of course, that if a new club starts out, it has to have a social impact statement. There are other provisions in relation to social impact statements. I think generally the legislation that passed last year was the result of a lot of effort and thought and a lot of community consultation with various groups.

Clauses 9 to 11 agreed to.

Remainder of bill, by leave, taken as a whole and agreed to.

Bill agreed to.

Animal Diseases Bill 2005

Debate resumed from 17 March 2005, on motion by Mr Stanhope:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (4.50): The Animal Diseases Bill is a companion bill to the Stock Bill, which will be debated later today. It is an important innovation, or an important bringing up to date of legislation that covers the handling of animals for agricultural purposes in the ACT.

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