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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 27 October 2015) . . Page.. 3588 ..

people can come together, meet, and enjoy each other’s company. That goes to the general improvement of everybody’s wellbeing.

It is a big report. I get to close the debate, so I will finish at the moment by simply saying that I would like to thank my colleagues. We had Mr Rattenbury on board, so on some days PAC had four members; on the next day it had five. Getting diaries together was a major dilemma for the secretariat and I thank them for their work.

While we did not agree, there is not a dissenting report. Mr Rattenbury has put forward some additional comments, which I am sure he will speak to, but in the main there is a tripartite report of the Assembly public accounts committee that says there must be a path forward for our clubs. Here are 46 suggestions on how to make it better for all of us—for the benefit of the community and for the improvement of the wellbeing of all Canberrans. We refer this report to the Assembly.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (10.51): I thank Mr Smyth for his overview of the report; I think he has given a very comprehensive account of it. I agree with him that it was a very interesting inquiry, one that took a lot of time and effort and one that is very important for the future of the clubs sector. I have written some additional comments, and I will focus on those, because Mr Smyth has given a very good overview of the bulk of the committee findings.

The committee report, on page 102, has a section where we drew the key findings. We agreed in the committee that this was a very important thing to do, because there were some key points that we wanted to cover. I draw people’s attention to that page because it is a really good summary. In there, there are a number of points, and I will just touch on them. The report says:

It is the expectation of the committee that there will be a continued club presence accessible to most parts of Canberra and that clubs will continue to be a focus and support for a viable and vital Canberra community.

We also noted:

Community clubs provide significant value to the Canberra community …

These key points at the start of the report really summarise where the committee landed out of this inquiry.

We acknowledge the very important role that clubs play in our community. In my additional comments I note that, and I agree fully with the committee on this. But the dilemma that we face and that this community faces is that much of the benefit delivered by clubs is derived from the revenue from poker machines. There is a clear recognition in our community, and this is also acknowledged in the main findings, that there are inherent harms arising from problem gambling and that our community has a strong desire to see those harms minimised. To my mind, that was very much the issue we were trying to grapple with in the committee—recognition of the value of clubs in our community, knowing what a significant role they play and how important they are for many people in our community, whilst at the same time, at least for me,

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