Page 2537 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 11 August 2015

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that no meetings had been held with either of those parties. I find it strange that on such a big issue the two advocate groups with most interest have not even been met with by the minister. That is perhaps something the minister should take into account.

The co-location of the racing codes seems to be an issue that is not to be proceeded with. Thoroughbred racing are adamant that they wish to stay where they are, and I think greyhounds ACT is of that view as well. The harness races are already at EPIC. We were told that appropriate accommodation for harness racing will be considered as part of the broader work around Exhibition Park in Canberra. That will be interesting to see. I hope there is liaison between the two ministers responsible—one for the harness racing and one for EPIC—and that we get some coordination to make sure harness racing grows rather than declines and that we capitalise on the sport of racing in the ACT.

Another issue that was discussed was what had happened as a consequence of the sale of ACTTAB and whether or not everything had been put in place. As to the resources to the commission as a result of the transfer of ACTTAB to Tabcorp, we were told that there was an increased workload with the initial implementation but it is expected later in the year that the level of resources will be reduced. That is certainly something we will monitor as well. With that, Madam Speaker, we will be supporting this line.

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Racing and Gaming and Minister for the Arts) (10.34): The ACT Gambling and Racing Commission is a statutory authority that regulates and monitors all gambling activities in the ACT from gaming machines to the casino to the TAB, interactive gambling and minor gaming such as lotteries. The commission’s role is to promote public interest by protecting consumers and reducing the risks and costs of problem gambling.

As part of this role, the commission has an ongoing relationship with the ANU to ensure that high quality research is conducted on relevant matters. The ANU researchers are currently finalising the 2014 survey on gambling, health and wellbeing following a survey of more than 7,000 ACT residents. This government will soon be providing preliminary results of this survey to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts to help inform the PAC inquiry.

The commission is also conducting a joint longitudinal study with New South Wales to inform about people’s entry into gambling and counselling services and the long-term success of this form of intervention. In addition, the commission is actively involved in a community education and counselling support service in contract with Relationships Australia.

The commission has also developed and implemented an online gambling exclusion database to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the problem gambling exclusion scheme. The database is funded through the problem gambling assistance fund and is administered through the commission. The commission has been proactive in identifying and implementing areas for reduction of red tape to assist the industry and government to keep costs to a minimum.

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