Page 4106 - Week 13 - Thursday, 31 October 2013
Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.
Bill agreed to.
Sitting suspended from 12.26 to 2.30 pm.
Questions without notice
MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Racing and Gaming. Minister, it is reported today that the Casino Canberra is cutting staff and hours of operation. They cite the ban on poker machines as a key contributor to this decision. Minister, what is the rationale for the government’s stance on banning the casino from having poker machines?
MS BURCH: I thank the member for his interest in the casino. Yes, I too read the report today. It has been a longstanding position of the ACT to support the community model of poker machines, which supports our community clubs, which are not-for-profit entities.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.
MR HANSON: Minister, what analysis has the government done of the competitive disadvantage faced by Casino Canberra against interstate casinos and local gaming operations such as the Canberra Labor club?
MS BURCH: I will repeat that it has been a long-held position, I think since gaming machines were introduced to the ACT, that they sit with the community club environment, which includes a number of fabulous clubs here in the ACT that continue to support many in our community. I would encourage those opposite to recognise the value—
Mr Hanson: Madam Speaker, on a point of order.
MS BURCH: the benefit of the community club model.
MADAM SPEAKER: A point of order has been raised. Please sit down, minister.
Mr Hanson: The supplementary question I asked was specifically about any analysis the government had done about whether there was a competitive disadvantage faced by Casino Canberra either with interstate casinos or locally against entities that have gaming machine operations such as the Canberra Labor clubs. So it is not about just the model that the ACT has. It is about whether there has been any analysis of that competitive disadvantage. I ask the minister to explain if any analysis has been conducted. If so, what is it? If not, tell us.
MADAM SPEAKER: I uphold Mr Hanson’s point of order. His question was clearly about analysis of competitive disadvantage. I was listening for the minister to come to the point and I would ask her to come to the point now.