Page 2102 - Week 07 - Thursday, 4 June 2015

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Petition—Out of order

Petition which does not conform with the standing orders—Greyhound racing in the ACT—Ban—Ms Burch (16 signatures).

Supplementary answer to question without notice

Budget—ACT Policing

MS BURCH: I want to correct the record of question time yesterday. In response to a question I indicated a figure for the per annum increase for police. I gave the wrong answer. I just want to correct the record. It is $865,000 each year of the new funding agreement for the police in this budget.

Gaming Machine (Reform) Amendment Bill 2015

Debate resumed from 14 May 2015, on motion by Ms Burch:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4.20): I think everyone in the ACT had great hope that when the process of reforming the club industry was embarked upon we would actually get a decent outcome. It is not like this is something that appeared a month ago or two months ago; this has been talked about for years. The agreement I understand struck between the government and the clubs has allowed the government 12 months to get this legislation in order. At the start of the year we had the Chief Minister stand up on day one of the Assembly and say he wanted a bipartisan approach to this. But the government’s idea of bipartisanship is to table something without any discussion a couple of weeks before it is to be debated and say, “Take it or leave it.” That is not bipartisanship. If you want a bipartisan approach to this, Chief Minister, you need to handle it yourself, replace the current minister or get the current minister to come and talk to people. We all know the debacle of January. There is still a motion from February on the notice paper because the minister cannot conduct the bipartisan approach the Chief Minister thinks should occur.

This is the problem: the Assembly agrees to send a reference to the public accounts committee to look at the future of the clubs, but we have a minister going full steam ahead because she wants this bit and she wants this bit now. It is interesting that most of what is in this bill does not need to be passed by 1 July. What need to be passed by 1 July are tax provisions—that is all. When we had a briefing we asked the officials when the rest of it would start, and they did not know. Rushing this through today in this way is indicative of a minister who is not up to the job, and this is an inferior outcome for the clubs. They will get the tax reform that will please some and not others—that is the nature of tax reforms—and they will get a trading system which I think will please them until they learn the detail. I am not sure the club industry is across the full detail of this because the full detail is not available.

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