Page 3651 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 26 August 2009

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always say time changes things, but you have to actually change them yourself.” Personally, I am not prepared to be the one who turns away because the challenge seems too great. Change mostly comes about because persistent people keep trying. They talk; they discuss; they agitate. They do not give up. Those people are far more inspiring and far more valuable members of our community than those who roll over and accept mediocrity.

Then there is the suggestion that we are somehow wasting the Assembly’s time by putting this issue on the table. Members may be surprised to hear that I agree with this to some extent. The reason I agree with it is that we should not be having to spend time on this. It should not be controversial. It should not take a lot of time. It is simply the right thing to do.

As I have already stated today, this bill is about equality, it is about decency and it is about respect. We should simply get it passed and get on to other matters. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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

Gaming Machine (Suspension of Transfers) Amendment Bill 2009

Mr Smyth, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (10:42): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to present the Gaming Machine (Suspension of Transfers) Amendment Bill today. The purpose of this bill is straightforward. Over recent weeks, considerable debate about gaming machines, more colloquially known as poker machines, has occurred for a number of reasons. There have been extensive discussions within the community about the way in which poker machines should be managed. The fundamental reason for this discussion has been the way in which these machines are allocated and surrendered, transferred, and whether they are actually being sold.

All things being equal, the licensees of poker machines have access to a strong and consistent revenue stream. This income provides the licensee with a good base on which to build the business. The business, of course, must be community based and satisfy the requirements set out in the act.

In May 2004, when introducing what is now the Gaming Machine Act 2004, the then Treasurer, Ted Quinlan, said:

The eligibility criteria for a gaming machine licence for a club needs to ensure eligibility only remains with those venues that are genuinely not-for-profit.

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