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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 August 2017) . . Page.. 3077 ..

by licensees of rebated amounts if a club or club group’s gross gaming machine revenue is no longer less than $4 million during any financial year. It is important to recognise that this rebate is part of a comprehensive package that supports all small and medium clubs through a range of measures. The community club grant, also a Labor election commitment, ensures that there is support for every small and medium club and club group.

The grants processes will be managed administratively and do not form part of the bill, but they are certainly part of the commitment. If a small club is eligible for the rebate but has no tax liability for the year, it will still be eligible for the $10,000 grant to support diversification and it will still benefit from the red tape reduction measures in this bill. Consistent with our election commitment, this bill reduces red tape for small and medium clubs by making it easier to deal with their tax liabilities. Clubs eligible for the rebate will be able to lodge quarterly gaming machine tax payments and make quarterly payments to the problem gambling assistance fund, should they choose. These changes will help eligible clubs to manage their cash flows.

The purpose of this bill is to support diversification. I note that Mr Parton has raised questions about whether there should be more in this bill to tie the tax rebate to diversification. But I would like to emphasise that this package comes with built-in accountability measures. The gaming machine tax rebate provisions contained in this bill will be reviewed after two years of operation. The government will be required to report to the Legislative Assembly by 30 November 2019 on the outcome of the review. This will be an opportunity to look at how well the support package has worked to encourage diversification, and members here will be provided with the results.

I am pleased to be delivering on another election commitment and demonstrating the government’s support for our local community clubs. Clubs provide Canberrans with enrichment that comes through access to facilities, sport, music, art and other culturally diverse community activities. This bill will support them to focus on providing their services to the community and to reduce their reliance on gaming machines. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Clauses 1 to 12, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Clause 13.

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (11.43): Mr Rattenbury often disappoints me in this place, and he is, if nothing else, most consistent, because he has done it again today. He and his colleague Ms Le Couteur are about to rubber stamp a $5.3 million gift of ratepayers’ money to selected clubs that are amongst the most reliant on gaming revenue. We will be opposing this clause. We are opposing this clause for the reasons that we have outlined earlier.

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