Page 2816 - Week 07 - Thursday, 7 June 2012

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With respect to recommendation 17, which is not to support the bill until all the recommendations have been passed, I do not support that. But that is on the basis that I do not support all the recommendations.

I commend the committee’s report to the Assembly. Despite the fact it is clearly not unanimous, we have made some positive contributions, and I am very pleased that all members have recognised the issues of problem gambling. The timing of this was particularly good from PAC’s point of view because we also have started looking at the Auditor-General’s report on problem gambling, which is obviously very relevant.

I thank my fellow committee members for their contribution, and I would also, of course, like to thank Dr Andrea Cullen, the committee secretary, for her usual hard work and Lydia Chung for her hard work in making this a report that looks beautiful as well as having some useful things in it.


MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: I would like to recognise Mr Michael Moore, a former member of this place, who has joined us in the gallery. Welcome, Mr Moore.

Public Accounts—Standing Committee

Report 24

Debate resumed

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (11.38): I would also recognise Mr Moore, who always had a long-term interest in good legislation. The bill that the government has presented is not good legislation. It is not good legislation. The reason—I think it is pointed out; Ms Le Couteur has covered some of it—is that this bill will not achieve what it purports to achieve or wants to achieve, which is to reduce the number of machines. If you read the Auditor-General’s report, you will see that she says it will take 26 years under the current arrangements to meet that aspirational target.

If we start legislating for aspirations, we are really scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of what this place can achieve. If you had a real target and a real plan to achieve that, you would legislate for it.

Mr Barr interjecting—

MR SMYTH: The former minister, who sits there glibly interjecting, did not have a plan. I do not believe he ever believed that the 4,000 target would be met, because he certainly has not put in place a plan to do so.

Again, it goes back to that conflict that the Labor Party has with legislating for poker machines here in the ACT. You have got a plan to bring down the number of machines, but what the plan does is protect the current monopoly. And who is the biggest winner from that? ACT Labor. Indeed, the plan, as outlined by the former

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