Page 2377 - Week 08 - Thursday, 6 June 2013

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MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Disability, Children and Young People, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Women, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Racing and Gaming) (11.28): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I introduce the Gaming Machine Amendment Bill 2013 (No 2), which amends the commencement of sections 28 and 29 of the Gaming Machine Amendment Act 2012 (GMAA) to align with the commonwealth legislation which takes effect on 1 February of 2014. These sections relate to the automatic teller machine withdrawal limit provisions.

The bill I introduce today allows for further time for the government to work with the commonwealth to address inconsistencies that have emerged between the proposed withdrawal limits and those under the commonwealth's National Gambling Reform Act 2012. The GMAA amended the Gaming Machine Act 2004 to provide a withdrawal limit of $250 per card per day for territory ATMs located in gaming machine premises subject to a number of identified exemptions. These provisions are due to commence in September of this year. The NGRA, or the National Gambling Reform Act, was passed by the commonwealth in November of 2012 and imposes national ATM withdrawal limits which commence in February of 2014.

Whilst the exemptions to the territory's ATM withdrawal limits were negotiated in good faith and based on the draft of the National Gambling Reform Bill 2012, they will be ineffective under the NGRA as passed. The Canberra Racing Club, licensed premises operating 20 or fewer gaming machines and licensed premises authorised to operate a class B machine, will be impacted as a result.

I am committed to the exemptions, and I am also committed to ensuring that any situation which leads to confusion is addressed as a matter of priority. As I have been advised there is no legislative remedy the territory can invoke to safeguard the exemptions from the commonwealth’s legislation, I have written to my commonwealth counterpart making representations on the territory’s concerns. The officials for my directorate are working closely with industry and their representative groups to disseminate information and to provide assistance, as required.

The delay in commencement of these provisions until 1 February 2014, when the commonwealth provisions take effect, will also give the industry additional time to ensure that the required systems and technology is in place. It is important to note that the amendment I am introducing today only affects the commencement of the ATM withdrawal limit provisions and not the remainder of the GMAA, which has already commenced. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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

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