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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 10 February 2015) . . Page.. 94 ..

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: I am not convinced. I did not hear that imputation. Mr Hanson, did you make such an imputation?

MR HANSON: The point I have made, Madam Assistant Speaker, for clarification, is that the direct result of this minister’s action would have resulted in additional money going to the Labor Party. That is an irrefutable fact.

Mr Corbell: On the point of order, Madam Assistant Speaker, the imputation was made against all members of the frontbench. There is not a motion censuring the government as a whole. There is not a motion censuring any other minister, only Minister Burch. Mr Hanson cannot make allegations of such a nature against other ministers except by substantive motion. He has not. It is an imputation of improper motive. It is disorderly and he should withdraw it.

MR HANSON: Madam Assistant Speaker, this is a matter of judgement from the minister. This is a debating point. If he wishes leave to speak again, I will grant him leave. This is a debating point.

Mr Corbell: No, you have defamed me.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Thank you. I will review what was said. If there was such an imputation, I will seek a withdrawal from Mr Hanson. In the meantime, Mr Hanson, can we remain on the matter at hand—the motion of no confidence in Ms Burch, the censure?

MR HANSON: Certainly, Madam Assistant Speaker. Let me quote from a media article about this issue, about why she simply did not realise the difficulties this would bring: “It’s an interpretation that is difficult to sustain.” It continued:

What gaming minister could be aware of the significance of such a change? Note acceptors are contentious in themselves, with a number of other jurisdictions banning them, and there was controversy a year ago when Queensland moved also to scrap its $20 note limit. In an ACT Labor government the issues are clearly more sensitive still, given the political capital that can be made out of the party’s ownership of 488 poker machines through the Labor Clubs. If Ms Burch was unaware of the significance of the change she was enacting, she is surely not fit to be gaming minister.

The alternative explanation is worse. To know it was a contentious change to gaming law and do it without announcement on December 22 as the city is shutting down for Christmas suggests a deliberate attempt to make the change without anyone noticing. Any government capable of that level of cynicism, deception and unilateral action has been too long in power.

The point that I am making is one that has been litigated in the media. I do not believe there are any writs being sent off to the Canberra Times or many others who have drawn a direct line that goes between the actions of this government and the fact that the increase in poker machines that has been announced by this minister or the increase in note amounts or other policy decisions will ultimately result in a direct

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