Page 45 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 10 February 2015

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The responsible agency must prepare the accompanying documentation and arrange with the Cabinet and Intergovernmental Relations (CIGR) Branch, CMD for the regulation to be notified. Agencies provide the documentation to the CIGR Branch for notification.

Did the Chief Minister’s directorate advise you or your office that Ministers Burch and Corbell had signed a regulation increasing the limit for notes in poker machines to $50?

MR BARR: Given the time period that elapsed between the regulation being signed and the time I became aware of the issue, and that included the Christmas holiday period, I will need to check whether that advice came before the regulation was put into the media or at the same time. But certainly the first that I was personally aware of that regulation was when I read it in the newspaper.

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, a supplementary question.

MR HANSON: Chief Minister, why is it that Minister Burch, Deputy Chief Minister Corbell and your directorate knew about this regulation but you did not?

MR BARR: In relation to Mr Hanson’s question, as I say, I will need to ascertain when the formal advice was provided in relation to that regulation. Obviously it was put on the legislation register and made publicly available at that time. Noting, of course, that this period was, as has been extensively canvassed, over the Christmas holiday time frame, it is entirely possible that there would be some delays related to the public holidays associated with that period.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Chief Minister, why did you keep Minister Burch in your cabinet after she allegedly failed to consult you about this regulation?

MR BARR: As I have indicated again this morning, and about 30 times in the month of January, an error was made in this instance. I have accepted the minister’s apology for that error. We have moved on. We have put in place a mechanism to address the substantive issue, and that is what matters. The Assembly ought to be mature enough to be able to provide a unanimous recommendation to the government on what is the appropriate limit for notes to be put forward and the denomination of those notes. As I have indicated this morning, and I repeat it again now, I think in the context of regulation of gaming machines that it is in the best long-term interests of the club industry for there to be bipartisanship, or preferably a unanimous vote of this place, in relation to regulation. That way there will not be change in the future.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Chief Minister, is Minister Burch on a final warning after this debacle?

MR BARR: No, Madam Speaker.

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