Page 1780 - Week 06 - Thursday, 14 May 2015

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In line with commitments under the memorandum of understanding with ClubsACT, the government will continue to consult the clubs industry and the community more broadly about the measures that can ease the administrative burden and build viability for the future whilst retaining appropriate safeguards for the community.

The introduction of this bill represents a culmination of many months of work and I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the club industry and particularly the officials in the directorate that have worked many a long hour in getting together this complex set of amendments and changes to the bill. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth) adjourned to the next sitting.

Public Accounts—Standing Committee

Proposed reference

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (11.03): Under standing order 174, I move:

That the Gaming Machine (Reform) Amendment Bill 2015 be referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

The Assembly has referred to the committee the future of clubs in the ACT. Yet we are now presented with 160-odd pages of legislation and 90-odd pages of explanatory memorandum and are expected to believe that this should be passed before the committee does its work. If there are urgent bits or pieces in the legislation that are perhaps part of a budget or need to be agreed to by 1 July the committee can move quickly and possibly have an interim report in that regard.

This is the problem with this government. The Assembly sets up committees to inquire and this government believe that they can just continue willy-nilly. We saw that, for instance, in the sentencing review that the JACS committee was doing. The government changed the law anyway. Now we have another endeavour. It is not enough to say that it was in the pipeline. If the pipeline is pointed in the wrong direction and the committee finds that it should be going somewhere else, we should give the committee time to do its work properly.

We should also have some respect for the committee system of the ACT Legislative Assembly, something that clearly the government does not. It was the committee’s will that the public accounts committee look into the future of clubs in the ACT. Things like tax rates, things like a trading system, will have a profound effect on the future of clubs in the ACT, noting that this might cause some discomfort to those in the club industry in the ACT. It is about getting it right for the long term, not having a patched-up approach, as we seem to have. There is a great opportunity here, through the inquiry, to get this right for a very long time. One of the things that the club industry has asked for is certainty.

The government have one view. They have tabled this view. It may get passed next month and then the report from the committee—I do not know what will be in the

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