Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 17 November 2015) . . Page.. 4039 ..
This report is the epitome of abject failure in terms of policy development for problem gaming in the ACT. It is the responsibility of the minister. She is an abject failure in bringing this here when almost half of the reforms have been rejected out of hand. They are just not going to happen.
The question is: what is left? The answer is: not very much. If you are in the club sector, you might have been looking for some hope. You might have been looking for a little bit of certainty—perhaps a small Christmas gift from the minister who botched up Christmas last year so badly and so appallingly. You would think they might want to give consideration to giving a clear indication to the club sector that they have actually read the report, that they have read the submissions and that they understand the difficulties that are faced.
You would think they would actually read, for instance, the ClubsACT submission about what is required, much of which is picked up in our report, and have done something concrete about it. All we got was a snow job. The minister picked two very small areas with which she agreed, or agreed in principle, to give the illusion that this report was moving forward.
This report is a failure. This minister is a failure. The Chief Minister should remove her. Reshuffle her out, get rid of her in any way possible, and give the club sector of the ACT the sort of minister they deserve—somebody actually with the wit, with the ken, to make it work for them, instead of producing that drivel and dropping that in the Assembly today.
MR COE (Ginninderra) (3.59): I would like to make a few remarks in relation to this process. It really is an insult to the committee process, to the MLAs and, indeed, to the committee office when this committee seemingly went to great lengths to put together a report that, by and large, had tripartisan agreement and that in effect paved the way for this government to undertake policy reform in what is a tricky area of policy. Instead the minister has totally squibbed the opportunity. It could not have been any easier. She had the cover of Labor, Liberals and the Greens, all in agreement on numerous policy areas. Instead we see this gutless response.
The actual document, the formal response, squibs out of all the recommendations. We then heard the speech today, which did not go to the core of the issues at all. This is a government that has a big stake in the club sector. It is a government that draws millions of dollars in revenue through pokies, not only through government coffers but also, as the governing party, through the Labor Club. We believe that this government has a conflict of interest when it comes to governing in this space. That is why it would have been an even better opportunity, under the cover of Labor, Liberals and the Greens all being in agreement, regarding recommendations for the future of this sector.
It begs the question: if the minister is not going on the advice of the witnesses to the committee, if she is not going on the advice of the committee, if she is not going on the advice of Labor, the Liberals and the Greens, whose advice is she going on? Who is actually steering the ship? Either we have a situation where the minister is negligent and has no idea about how to govern or there are other forces at play here which are dictating how policy is generated within that portfolio.