Page 2165 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 2 August 2016

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1 November this year, with a mix of the two messages required at each venue. While implementing these less ambiguous, evidence-based harm minimisation messages on gaming machines, the added benefit to licensees is a reduction in costs. Licensees will no longer have to repeatedly print a variety of machine-specific signage that requires frequent replacement.

The amendment bill also includes further minor and technical amendments to gaming machine legislation which will assist with administration and interpretation, such as allowing licensees to more easily quarantine gaming machine authorisations from use. Other amendments include retaining the commission’s ability to attend the destruction of gaming machines if it so wishes, clarifying a corporation’s right to apportion common expenditure across multiple clubs for community contributions, and identifying when an installation certificate must be supplied to the commission.

With regard to racing, this amendment bill makes important reforms to simplify the framework for issuing and renewing race bookmaking licences and race bookmaker’s agents licences. These amendments revise existing provisions around licence applications and narrow the information required, while removing subjective tests and replacing these with provisions that are more administratively transparent and understandable.

Changes to the Race and Sports Bookmaking Act 2001 were developed in light of associated risks, with amendments allowing the commission to assess licence applications based on risk to the community, without compromising the integrity of the racing industry and while maintaining, of course, procedural fairness.

Through this amendment bill, the commission will have streamlined processes in renewing licences and considering the suitability requirements for renewal, as occurs elsewhere. The new licensing application and renewal framework will significantly reduce red tape for applicants, licensees and administrators.

Finally, further minor technical amendments occur to a number of acts and regulations to reflect the renaming of national and interstate racing boards and corresponding legislation.

The Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety in its legislative scrutiny role reflected on this amendment bill and I thank its members for their consideration and support of the bill.

Measures that underpin effective harm minimisation and consumer protection, while supporting the integrity and standards of the industry, ensure that gaming and racing and our community clubs operate successfully in the ACT.

This government is committed to maintaining the integrity of the gaming and racing industries. The ongoing program of regulatory reform and red tape reduction within the portfolio has shown this to be true. This amendment bill streamlines processes and removes unnecessary regulatory arrangements, thus reducing red tape and providing efficiencies for industry and government. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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