Page 3832 - Week 12 - Thursday, 24 October 2013
Mr Barr: Which is what I said, Madam Speaker.
MADAM SPEAKER: “on the point of order” because we were discussing Dr Bourke’s point of order.
Mr Barr: Which is what I said.
MADAM SPEAKER: I am sorry. In that case, I did not hear you. I think we have dealt with all that. A supplementary question, Ms Porter.
MS PORTER: Minister, what will be the main changes put in place through the new code of practice mentioned in the MOU?
MS BURCH: I thank Ms Porter for her interest in this. In line with one of the MOU’s commitments, the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission undertook the process of conducting a review of the Gambling and Racing Control (Code of Practice) Regulation 2002. The review was to consider the ability of the code of practice in its present form to achieve its harm minimisation objectives. Extensive consultation occurred with industry stakeholders, including the release of a discussion paper for comment in late last year and a draft policy paper for comment in March this year.
In September the final policy paper was distributed to members of the Gambling Industry Consultative Committee and those who made submissions and that will provide an opportunity to confirm issues that were factually represented in the policy paper. The review recommends generally enhancing the skills of gambling contact officers, requiring the use of an online gambling exclusion database, making more information available to patrons on their rights and requiring licensees to offer a range of prizes other than just gaming credits when a patron wants to redeem loyalty points that have accrued.
As mentioned, an enhanced code of practice is expected to be in place soon, and for all those with an interest in gaming machines, I say again that if Canberra Liberals can come in here, hand on heart, and say that there is not one dollar provided to them through a gaming machine, then what a load of hypocrisy they have over there. They assume any benefit from a gaming machine is negative. I say to them: the Cerebral Palsy Alliance is significantly supported by the Labor Club. Do you call them into disrepute? Do you call them dodgy? Volunteering ACT are significantly supported. Do you call them dodgy? One would hope not.
MR SMYTH: My question is also to the minister for gaming. Minister, this morning on ABC Radio you were featured in a report that said, “The ACT government plans to make it easier for ACT clubs to purchase poker machines.” The report continued by saying, “The changes will make it faster to buy machines and the clubs no longer need government approval if they want to finance new machines.” Minister you were on air as accepting that your changes will make it “easier to get one”. Minister, when was the policy changed that poker machines could be bought and sold in this territory instead of provided for the community sector and regulated by the government?