Page 3353 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 19 August 2009

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(5) calls on all ministers of the ACT Government to make full and frank disclosures of any involvement they, their staff or their representatives may have had in influencing the decision making process of the Labor Club board; and

(6) requests the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission:

(a) investigate claims made in The Canberra Times and The Australian newspapers regarding a possible breach of the Gaming Machine Act 2004 in relation to the proposed sale of assets by Canberra Labor Club Limited;

(b) have tabled in the Assembly the full findings of an investigation into the claims, should an investigation be pursued and completed; and

(c) provide to the Assembly reasons why it may decide it does not have sufficient grounds to conduct an investigation into the claims, if it finds that to be so.”.

That essentially re-inserts paragraphs (2) to (5) that Ms Hunter’s amendment takes out, keeps in Ms Hunter’s amendment as well and makes that paragraph (6). This was essentially the course of action suggested by Mr Smyth before lunch, and I concur with it.

There are, as I said, problems with the course of action proposed by the Greens, simply because no-one is entirely sure what it is and the amendment proposed by Ms Hunter, which is also replicated in my amendment, does actually cast doubt on whether the Gambling and Racing Commission has sufficient powers under the Gaming Machine Act to undertake the review that is proposed by this amendment. There should be a better course of action than this. There are issues in relation to the capacity, not in the personal capacity but the powers that the commission has and the staff of the commission have, to undertake these issues.

It is the case that this is not as independent an organisation as the Attorney-General in particular would have us believe. The attorney was waxing lyrical before the lunch break in relation to the role of the board. We need to make perfectly clear exactly what constitutes the governing board of the Gambling and Racing Commission. It is five members. According to the second note in section 12 of the act, and as has always been the case:

The chief executive officer of the authority is a member of the board.

If you turn over the page and go from section 12 to section 13, it says:

The chief executive officer of the commission must be a public servant.

Mr Corbell: What about the other four?

MRS DUNNE: If Mr Corbell actually had any experience of how the Gambling and Racing Commission works—which he does not, which he has never had any experience of, and as a result he does not know—he would know that the work is carried out by the chief executive and his staff, all of whom are public servants.

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