Page 494 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 8 March 2011

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undertaking in relation to utilisation of new technology around working with problem gamblers to set limits on the amount of money they are prepared to lose in any particular gambling session. It would be fair to say that the results of those precommitment trials were inconclusive. They were most effective, on the advice of South Australia and Queensland, when gaming venues were actively engaged and working with their patrons to assist them in the utilisation of this technology.

There is still a considerable amount of research and further work to be undertaken at both the commonwealth and jurisdictional level and ministers agreed to meet again in May to further progress this work.

Mr Coe: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The question was about the status of the package of measures he announced on 17 November—not a rundown of the state of the national scene.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Barr, do you wish to add any further comments?

MR BARR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I was indicating, as I did at the time, that these matters are of course linked and that members opposite would be aware—particularly aware in the context of this morning’s discussion about the territories powers under the self-government act—of section 122 of the constitution as it relates to the commonwealth’s capacity to use that territories power to legislate in relation to matters of the territory. They have also got advice that they can use a range of other constitutional powers in relation to taxation and matters otherwise to require change at the state and territory level in relation to gaming policy.

All of these issues have been discussed and they have significant implications for the ACT’s response. I have indicated a package of reforms that the government is progressing. Some of those matters have proceeded. I have already made public announcements in relation to, for example, reducing the number of poker machines in the territory, and we will continue to progress this agenda in partnership with other states and territories and the commonwealth to ensure a sound public policy outcome at the conclusion of the process.

MR COE: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, what negotiation have you had with stakeholders in the ACT gaming industry in recent months in relation to the effects of the proposed reforms to the operating regime for gaming machines on the industry?

MR BARR: In fact, my office met just this morning with ClubsACT. We continue to engage with relevant stakeholders. I know, for example, that the casino continues to quite aggressively lobby for an expansion in the number of poker machines, or at least an expansion of poker machines into its venue. So there is constant engagement and lobbying in relation to these matters, as one would anticipate. The government will continue to engage with stakeholders, other states and territories and the commonwealth in formulating our policy response.

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