Page 1883 - Week 05 - Thursday, 5 May 2011

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

Gaming Machine (Club Governance) Amendment Bill 2011

Mr Barr, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Planning, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation and Minister for Gaming and Racing) (10.31): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The government recognises that clubs play a significant role in our community. It is also recognised that clubs, by providing gambling opportunities through gaming machines, have an obligation to operate in a responsible manner that accords with accepted government and community standards. As such it is important that the expectations of the community for transparent and accountable governance are being met by all of our clubs.

The combination of measures in the Gaming Machine (Club Governance) Amendment Bill 2011 will help to achieve this by, among other things, requiring all club directors to act in the best interests of their club, ensuring there are appropriate levels of disclosure and guaranteeing member representation on club boards.

The bill also provides some important safeguards in relation to the role of associated organisations. Together, the measures in this bill will improve transparency and accountability in the club sector. The provisions in this bill have been developed following a public review of existing governance provisions in the Gaming Machine Act by the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission.

The commission undertook a two-stage consultation process which focused on four key policy issues: firstly, the role and powers of associated organisations; secondly, obligations of club directors; thirdly, powers of the commission in relation to the governance of clubs; and, fourthly, club director election processes.

After considering submissions from both periods of consultation, the commission prepared a final review report with recommendations for amendments to the Gaming Machine Act in these areas. I now table for the information of members the commission’s review report. The report will also be publicly accessible on the commission’s website.

The government has accepted all of the commission’s recommendations which are reflected in the drafting of this bill. A number of the provisions in this amendment bill relate to associated organisations. These entities, which are like-minded bodies that assist clubs to meet their objects, are declared as such by the commission for this

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