Page 2205 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 22 June 2011

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Apart from the prospective size of the donation, a related concern arises from the way in which many relevant organisations in the ACT operate as integral parts of their local communities. All of us are aware that the provision of licences to operate gaming machines, for example, is based on a strong sense of the community agreeing to entities operating gaming machines and that the benefits generated by the entities operating gaming machines are to be returned to the community in various ways. It would be an absolute travesty if an organisation which had benefited from the fundamental community focus of accessing gaming machines, for example, abused this privilege by not returning the benefits of that privilege to the community. It is only the clear and credible reports of the prospect of a massive donation based on the operation of gaming machines being made ahead of the impending legal changes which cause us to introduce this bill.

I note one significant feature in the bill. In the commencement clause, clause 2, there is a provision for the provisions in this bill to operate from today—that is, 22 June 2011. This is a necessary change which has been forced on us to prevent such an inequity from happening.

We do not want to make this law. It is only because, if the reported donation is true, it is the ruthless exploitation of the goodwill and proper processes of this Assembly, and it would make a mockery of any changes if a vast donation were shifted forward simply to circumvent due process.

As such, we recognise that this approach involves providing for the commencement of a law before that law has been passed by the Assembly, and we also recognise that the provision in this bill includes offences.

It is important that people and organisations are aware of any offences which could be committed if this bill is enacted. At the same time, I must emphasise that this community should not and will not tolerate electoral practices which have no place in an open and transparent democracy.

I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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

Electricity Feed-in (Renewable Energy Premium) Amendment Bill 2011

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

Title read by Clerk.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (10.08): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

It is actually really unfortunate that we are here tabling this bill today. This is a bill that would not have been required had the government listened to the arguments that

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