Page 3881 - Week 10 - Thursday, 27 August 2009

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We have got a government that refuse to uphold the laws and they break their ministerial code of conduct. It is not worth the paper it is written on. But at the heart of it, we have got an Assembly that is not interested in what these changes mean and what these circumstances mean. They were not thought of when this act was drafted. It was not considered that somebody would sell a club as a going concern and walk away with a massive profit.

The profits from poker machines belong to the community. That is what they were given for. These licences are a gift from the community to the organisations for the benefit of their members and the community at large. No-one intended an enormous windfall profit to any organisation. No-one ever foresaw this circumstance. Where we are confronted by changing circumstances, the Assembly has an obligation to act. It has an obligation in this case to act swiftly, because I would not mind betting that the circumstances will change after the Labor Club Group, the national office, or whoever owns the Labor Club Group, sells, gets the profits and pockets them away. Watch the rules change then. Once they have sold it, watch the cap change. Watch the rules for shuffling machines between venues change.

The Labor government should tell us today what they are going to do in relation to both of those, because if they do not and they expect their sale to go ahead before the changes are made, it shows the conflict of interest. Here is the Labor Party manipulating the system, the government are manipulating the system. In this case it is for their own financial benefit. I would bet you that the rules will change if the Labor Party—or whoever owns the Labor Club Group—manage to divest themselves and the national office or the local office get their cut and the community misses out. That is what will happen here, and that is the problem. That is why it should go to the public accounts committee, because, at the end of the day, the community will miss out if it goes ahead without scrutiny, if it goes ahead without proper legislation, if it goes ahead without the questions being answered, and if it goes ahead with the murky cloud that exists over the Labor Club Group sale in the ACT at the moment.

We did not raise these issues; members of the Labor Party and the Labor Club Group did. They ask, they beg, that these issues be investigated. Not just the little bit that fits inside the commission, but the community benefit, breaches of the tax act, the future of community gaming. They are all embodied in this motion. It is worthy of going to the public accounts committee; it is worthy of being voted in favour of today.

Question put:

That Mr Smyth’s motion be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 5

Noes 10

Mr Coe

Mr Barr

Mr Hargreaves

Mrs Dunne

Ms Bresnan

Ms Hunter

Mr Hanson

Ms Burch

Ms Le Couteur

Mr Seselja

Mr Corbell

Mr Rattenbury

Mr Smyth

Ms Gallagher

Mr Stanhope

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