Page 3343 - Week 08 - Thursday, 23 August 2012

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

at the end of the financial year, thus to reduce the complexity in reporting arrangements. We also made recommendations about IT systems and that agencies should have in place mechanisms to review all the Auditor-General’s reports. As always, I would like to thank the secretary and my fellow committee members for their contribution.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (10.41): I would just echo the words of the chair. It does create some difficulty when things like this change. If you are going to make significant change, doing it six weeks out from the end of the financial year does not seem to make a great deal of sense in terms of having smooth arrangements. I would echo the response that perhaps the government should seriously look at recommendation 2 and take it into account in future. Again, thank you to the colleagues and thank you to the secretary.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Executive business—precedence

Ordered that executive business be called on.

Gaming Machine Amendment Bill 2011

Debate resumed from 17 November 2011, on motion by Mr Barr:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (10.42): The opposition will be supporting this bill. These reforms are long overdue. I think it is to the discredit of the government that for something like five years the club industry has been waiting for some action, and particularly the former minister, Mr Barr, was in many ways negligent in his administration of the industry.

It is quite interesting when you reflect on the nature of the bill—the original bill was just over 20 pages—that we are now confronted with 48 pages of amendments. I think we can firmly put that down to the sterling work of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts and their inquiry into the Gaming Machine Amendment Bill, which has a number of recommendations, some 17 in all, much of which has been picked up in the amendments. So to the credit of the government, they have at least read the report and have acted.

The club industry is often vilified because it has control, on behalf of the public, of poker machine licences. We talk about the harms that do come from poker machines. Indeed, I do not think there is anybody here who would not acknowledge there are some harms for those individuals who have difficulties that lead them to abuse their use of the machines. The majority of people behave responsibly. I believe the majority of clubs behave responsibly in the way they administer the act and that they administer the machines that they have under their control, and in many ways the clubs at the frontline of combating problem gaming do a good job. There will always be people that fall through the cracks and there will always be things that can be improved.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video