Page 2162 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 2 August 2016

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MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (5.28): I advise the Assembly that the Canberra Liberals will be supporting this bill.

The aim of the bill is to amend various laws relating to gambling and racing in Canberra with the object of reducing the amount of red tape in the gaming and racing industries in the ACT.

Firstly, let me say that whatever we can do to reduce the red tape burden on businesses and ACT residents is something that we welcome. One of the consistent complaints that we get on this side of the chamber is about the onerous weight and cost of government red tape on various activities. We know that the clubs in particular have been suffering in this regard.

With regard to the consultation on this bill, I am advised that the government has responded to a variety of concerns presented by the clubs sector but that in terms of the bookmakers the government has not done the sort of consultation that we would expect. Although ClubsACT as an industry, I believe, have had consultation, bookmakers who are affected by this legislation have not had significant, if any, consultation.

The bill impacts on a number of acts. They include the Gambling and Racing Control Act 1999, the Gaming Machine Act 2004, the Race and Sports Bookmaking Act 2001 and the Racing Act 1999.

The bill provides for a range of small but seemingly good reforms, providing for removing the regulatory requirement for licensees to display licences and authorisation certificates; modifying the percentage payout signage requirements for gaming machines to having an approved statement being displayed; providing interstate visitor access to clubs without the need to be accompanied by club members; clarifying arrangements to enable licensees to more easily quarantine authorisations of gaming machines from use; and implementing a simplified framework for race bookmaking licences and race bookmaker’s agent licences. It also provides some minor and technical amendments to acts and associated regulations to aid in interpretation, provide clarity, address modifications made to the Gaming Act through the Gaming Machine Regulation 2004, and amend and update certain boards, associations and interstate legislation.

The scrutiny of bills committee notes that the explanatory statement acknowledges that the right to privacy is engaged and limited by a number of provisions which require the submission of an application which may include personal information. This seems reasonable, however. It further notes that it will affect the following persons under the Racing and Sports Bookmaking Act 2001: an applicant for a race bookmaking licence, a nominated person for a race bookmaker’s agent licence, a race bookmaking licensee, and a race bookmaker’s agent licensee.

The clauses may be viewed as engaging the right to privacy and reputation as they will require that a person indicated above will need to disclose personal details as part of the application process. There is also a requirement to consent to a police criminal check. The explanatory statement offers a justification for that limitation as set out in the framework stated in the Human Rights Act, section 28.

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