Page 3156 - Week 07 - Thursday, 30 June 2011

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Everything this government does demonstrates its commitment to sustained growth in public housing. I look forward to being able to provide to this place and to Ms Bresnan the asset management plan at the end of the year.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Proposed expenditure—Part 1.17—ACT Gambling and Racing Commission—$4,297,000 (net cost of outputs), totalling $4,297,000.

MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens) (1.28 am): The Gambling and Racing Commission performs a very important function in our community and is responsible for regulating what can be a harmful industry. The Greens’ view is that there should be very strong regulatory oversight of the industry, and we were very pleased to hear during the estimates committee hearings that the commission’s compliance work is proving very successful and that the incidence of breaches is falling. I understand that the commission does a very good job of engaging in a collaborative manner with clubs and other gambling providers to assist them with compliance and rectifying mistakes as well as exercising the traditional regulator role. I think this is a real credit to the commission, and we are very pleased to see tangible results from their work.

The Greens are particularly pleased that this year the commission will begin administering the problem gambling assistance fund, which will commence tomorrow. A provider has now been chosen by the commission to deliver the specified services and I understand these will be significantly more than we currently have and that there will be links between the ongoing research project and the counselling services. This is a much better situation than we had previously and I am confident that the increase in services will lead to a tangible reduction in the level of problem gambling.

The fund will also provide for further research into problem gambling, as I said, and again the commissioner was able to give evidence to the estimates committee that there is further research already underway at the ANU and that this will continue where the prevalence study left off. This is particularly encouraging as the evidence to the committee was that more targeted research is being undertaken that will hopefully allow for the even better use of the problem gambling fund to ensure that it provides services to those most in need.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (1.30 am): I would like to make a comment on two areas. The first is the unease in the ACT club industry. There was legislation passed in this sitting period that the clubs find in a number of ways hard to understand the need for. I think there is this almost endless change to the whole clubs arrangement. What they want is a period of certainty, and what they would like to know is that they will be allowed to get on with doing their job, which is to make the community gaming model work, which they do so very well.

I think it is true to say clubs are not an endless supply of funds for the government or for other purposes and, equally, they now do not have the capacity to be able to respond to an ever-increasing regulatory framework without something giving. A lot

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