Page 2460 - Week 07 - Thursday, 3 August 2017

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This bill provides that any social impact assessment provided to the Gambling and Racing Commission may be accessed on the commission’s website in addition to a physical copy being made available for inspection at a location nominated on the commission’s website. Under the Gaming Machine Act a social impact assessment provides an objective analysis of the likely economic and social impact of an introduction, or increase in the number, of gaming machines on the local community.

When a licensee is seeking a new gaming machine authorisation certificate or an expansion to an existing authorisation certificate, a social impact assessment must be prepared by the licensee and provided to the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission. Members of the public can currently inspect a social impact assessment at the Gambling and Racing Commission’s office during business hours for a period of six weeks and make written submissions. Online access will enable interested members of the community to copy or take extracts of the social impact assessment material should they wish to lodge a submission.

This bill makes several important changes to the Gaming Machine Act to support sustainable community clubs in the ACT now and into the future. The support package is tailored to support small and medium clubs to keep on offering a wide, diverse range of services to Canberra. The focus of this support, consistent with our overall policy on gaming, is to help clubs move away from electronic gaming machines as a source of revenue. Canberrans have overwhelmingly supported a harm minimisation policy and this government is responding.

In addition to supporting a move away from gaming machine revenue by clubs, this bill directly contributes to harm reduction by giving members of the community better access to information about social impact assessments. This will allow people who are concerned about changes to the number of gaming machines in their community to better participate in the decision-making process.

Taken as a whole, this bill represents yet another example of the government delivering exactly what it promised in the election and, more importantly, it is another plank in the government’s efforts to strengthen and enhance the regulation of gaming machines in the territory. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Parton) adjourned to the next sitting.

Gaming Machine (Cash Facilities) Amendment Bill 2017

Mr Ramsay, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR RAMSAY (Ginninderra—Attorney-General, Minister for Regulatory Services, Minister for the Arts and Community Events and Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (11.49): I move:

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