Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 11 May 2017) . . Page.. 1672 ..
2000. For many years they have provided support for 1,100 community groups including 50 cultural and religious groups. They provide $39 million a year to the community through community donations of $9 million, subsidised access to facilities of $25 million, volunteering worth $5 million and on top of this they pay $73 million in taxes, which again helps all Canberrans.
It is important to note that no revenue whatsoever that is earned by clubs is pocketed by individuals or private companies. In one way or another, it all goes back to the community. They spend $1.2 million on live music each year, accounting for 49 per cent of annual venue spend on live music. They maintain six golf courses, 20 bowling greens, three cricket fields, five football fields, a hockey centre, a basketball stadium, a yacht club and tennis courts.
They maintain over 400 hectares of urban green space and more than 200,000 people hold membership to clubs in the ACT. Again, do not forget that next time you are looking for a meeting place for your sporting body, community group, motoring club or the local branch of your party, it is probably a club venue that hosts the meeting.
What this Assembly should be considering is how on earth we can help our community clubs survive as they deal with the inevitable decline of poker machine revenue. What we need to consider are the levers that government can manoeuvre to allow community clubs to diversify. If we do not, we are in danger of losing so much social capital, in danger of losing community facilities that will go to rack and ruin, in danger of massive loss of jobs and this city becoming less vibrant as a consequence of our neglect in this space.
If Mr Rattenbury and his government colleagues were serious about a meaningful transition away from gaming revenue into other streams they would be relaxing the lease variation charge for clubs, allowing them to move away much more freely from gaming revenue. I think that our clubs need respite from this onslaught. I ask Mr Rattenbury to exercise tolerance and refrain from using blunt force and compelling clubs to change.
MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism and Major Events) (11.35): The government will not be supporting Mr Parton’s amendment today. I speak on behalf of the Labor Party in that context, but I can confidently say that the government will not be supporting Mr Parton’s amendment today. I will commence my remarks on the point of agreement that there is across all parties in this place. The Attorney-General will go to some detail on this.
There is agreement on the need to increase transparency of the social impact assessment process to allow easy access to relevant documents and to enable all Canberrans to contribute to decisions regarding the presence of poker machines in their local communities. I note that that was in Mr Parton’s amendment. It is contained within Mr Rattenbury’s motion. The attorney has work underway on that and I think that is a positive that will come out of today’s debate.