Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 4 June 2015) . . Page.. 2104 ..
of revenue to the government. They provide a lot of safe locations for people to go either on their own or with their families. They asked for one thing, and that was certainty. The one thing they do not get out of this process is certainty. Certainty equals six months according to Minister Burch. You cannot bank on that level of certainty.
Then there is the complex nature of it. There is a gaming machine reform package fact sheet. There is a trading scheme and then there is a new licensing framework. Let’s look at the licensing framework. This is a corker of red tape. First of all you get a licence. Then because you have got a licence you get authorisation certificates. If you manage to get authorisation certificates, you get authorisation schedules. If you have got that, you actually get the authorisation for the machine. You go through three bits of activity before you get the authorisation for the machine, and then you can go and have your machine.
Has anybody ever heard of something as absurd as a five-tier system? That is what we are debating today. This is red tape reduction and it is appalling. A licence allows a licensee to operate a class of gaming machines, but a licence alone is not sufficient to operate an actual gaming machine. That is like saying you can have a drivers licence but then you have to get a licence for each car. Authorisation certificates—if you are lucky enough to get the licence then you get the certificate. The authorisation certificate provides the maximum number of authorisations for gaming machines for a venue. I have got a licence, I am okay to run a licensed club, which allows me to have machines, but then I have got to go and get an authorisation so that I can enact my licence. That makes sense. That is logical. But then, having got my authorisation, I have to get my schedule. The authorisation schedule is issued in addition to and with the authorisation certificates. What does the certificate do? It records the details of all authorisations—one might have thought a certificate might have done that—for the gaming machine at a specific venue and their status at any given time.
This is ludicrous. This is Sir Humphrey stuff: “Hang on, I’ve got my licence. I’ve gone and got my authorisation certificate. Yes, I’ve got my authorisation schedule. Am I right to go?” Well, apparently not, because then you have to get the authorisation. Each gaming machine must be operated under an authorisation, however the standards of the authorisation may change depending on the business imperative of the licensee. “Oh, my God. Have I got it all right now? Hang on, I’ve got my licence, yes. Licence in the left pocket. Authorisation certificate in the right pocket. I’ll put the authorisation schedule in the inside pocket. Hang on, what was the next thing? I’ll check my checklist. Oh yeah, that’s right. It’s the authorisation. I’ll put that in the inside left pocket. Now I’ve got to go and get some machines. I haven’t got any more pockets!”
It is pathetic in the extreme that in this day and age we have legislation that after 12 months of negotiation delivers that. That is a joke. That is an insult. That is, as Mr Wall so astutely noted, not red tape reduction. But that is what is on offer from this minister and this government—convoluted, complex and in no way certain. Because the scheme we have designed goes into a market that has been regulated where nobody can sell any machines because nobody can buy any more machines, we are going to put authorisations almost 700 above the current level of 524. There will