Page 2632 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 28 June 2011

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Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Clause 20 agreed to.

Clause 21 agreed to.

Clause 22.

MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens) (12.16): I move amendment No 3 circulated in my name [see schedule 3 at page 2765].

Mr Speaker, my amendment and a subsequent amendment that I may move this morning are about ensuring the integrity of the scheme created by this place only a matter of months ago. The logic of saying that you can claim that something that you are compelled to do because of the harm you are causing is a community contribution and therefore a positive is, I believe, wrong. Would anyone here suggest that tobacco companies should be able to say that the excise paid on cigarettes is a community contribution? Of course, that would be a ridiculous and farcical situation.

Clubs do make a valid and valuable community contribution, and they should quite rightly be recognised for that. They should not, however, be recognised for making a mandatory contribution to the community—costs for a harm they are causing. The reality is that there is no community benefit from the scenario where more is taken than given. Sure; things might not be as bad as they would be without it, and that is of course a false economy.

Clubs do provide a range of other community benefits, and they should be recognised because they do create an additional benefit for the community. Sports teams turn out on Saturday mornings because of the contribution of clubs, and we should recognise the positives that they provide to many organisations—sporting, charitable and so forth. Any additional problem gambling contributions that are made by clubs beyond what they are mandated to pay to the fund should be recognised as community contributions, as they are going beyond what the community has said should be the minimum. This is where there should be a positive recognition of club initiatives—not for fulfilling the basic minimum requirement. We should not be blurring the line and trying to make out that this is a voluntary situation when it clearly is not about choice; it is a mandatory contribution. And I do not believe it is an onerous mandatory contribution. I think really, at the height of it, it is a basic minimum.

I hope all members can see the logic in leaving things as they are and keeping the two schemes separate. It is important to recognise, as I said, the community contribution that is given by the clubs—as I said, to many organisations: sporting clubs and so forth. But let us face it: this scheme to put aside money to set up supports and programs for people with gambling issues, to look at research around this area, is a mandatory program. Therefore it is the Greens’ view that it should not be considered as part of the community contribution.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Education and Training and Minister for Tourism, Sport and

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