Page 2768 - Week 09 - Thursday, 8 August 2013
withdrawal limit of $250 per card per day for ATMs located in gaming machine premises, subject to a number of identified exemptions. These exemptions cover the Canberra Racing Club, licensed premises operating 20 or fewer gaming machines and licensed premises authorised to operate class B machines.
The exemptions were negotiated in good faith, but despite ongoing negotiations between the ACT and commonwealth governments, the exemptions are inconsistent with and will not be valid from the commencement of the commonwealth’s National Gambling Reform Act 2012, or the NGRA. The NGRA provisions will also prevail over territory law in relation to a number of other aspects, including the limit applying to a gaming day versus a 24-hour period and the liability for breaches.
As I said in introducing this bill, 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 urgency. We will continue to explore proactively with the commonwealth opportunities for maintaining the exemptions in addition to addressing the remaining inconsistencies. This bill allows further time for that to happen. As well as avoiding confusion around the differing commencement dates, a February 2014 start will also provide industry with additional time to ensure they are compliant with the new requirements.
I will briefly mention again that the provisions of this bill will only affect the commencement of the ATM withdrawal provisions and not the remainder of the GMAA, which has already commenced. I thank the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety and also officials from the Economic Development Directorate for their support in developing this bill, and I commend Mr Smyth for his succinct response to the bill. I commend the bill to the chamber.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (5.10): I will make a few brief remarks. I must say that I am really not sure what to say about this bill in some regards because I believe we should be absolutely clear that there is no reason whatsoever for it. There is no reason why the ATM limit cannot commence as currently required by the act. Saying that commonwealth law in any way requires or that it is even conducive to this delay in my view is disingenuous. The commonwealth law is entirely consistent with the current act. In fact, the commonwealth act contemplates differences and explicitly creates the capacity to deal with the issue. We have already given poker machine operators a long time to adjust to the new regulation, and every poker machine operator that is subject to the withdrawal cap under the ACT act will be subject to the cap under the commonwealth act. For the record, I simply state that the Greens do not support the exemptions and, similarly, we do not support any similar commonwealth exemptions.