Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 August 2017) . . Page.. 3083 ..
some way to addressing this issue. EFTPOS limits should sit alongside other measures such as bet limits, mandatory precommitment, reducing the number of machines, self-exclusion, staff training and access to support services. Together they create a packaged approach to harm minimisation in gaming environments.
Today in his remarks Mr Parton perhaps insinuated various motives of members of the Labor Party or the Greens as to how policy measures in this place are put together. I can inform members of the Assembly that I have met with both of the gaming industry groups in this town in recent weeks, both Canberra Community Clubs and ClubsACT, and I also spent quite a bit of time talking to advocates from the community sector who have real concerns about gambling harm.
Where the Greens come from is that we are trying to get the best possible system we can to ensure that people can gamble recreationally, if that is what they do, but to provide the protections that are necessary for people for whom problem gambling is an issue. The challenging part is that we have two votes out of 25 in this place and so we need to find the progress that we can. That is what we will continue to do in this place.
In relation to making comments about who people are informed by and what they are motivated by, I was intrigued to hear Mr Parton use the line, “It does not pass the pub test or the club test, if you will.” Interestingly, those are exactly the same words that my office received in an email last night from Gwyn Rees of ClubsACT. I quote from the email: “It does not pass the pub test or the club test, if you will.” I simply offer that observation. It is an extraordinary coincidence of phraseology that we have heard here in the chamber today.
As I have said, today’s proposed legislation does not completely close the EFTPOS loophole. I hope the government will continue to explore other alternatives as new technology becomes available. But, in the absence of a perfect solution, the Greens will be supporting this bill. I believe that it does make a positive contribution to minimising gambling harm in the territory. I thank Minister Ramsay for the work he has done to bring a solution to the Assembly in such a timely manner. I note that this will take effect from 1 September, and I think it is positive that it is taking effect so immediately. I hope that these new measures will help to prevent some of the cases of significant harm that we have seen in our community in recent times. That is why we will be supporting the bill today.
MR RAMSAY (Ginninderra—Attorney-General, Minister for Regulatory Services, Minister for the Arts and Community Events and Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (12.07), in reply: I am particularly pleased to have the privilege of closing the debate on this important bill. I table a revised explanatory statement.
I thank members for their comments, though I note with some disappointment Mr Parton’s comments about the contact between our offices. I wish to draw to the attention of the Assembly that my office did make contact with Mr Parton’s office yesterday and, unlike other members regarding other pieces of legislation, Mr Parton’s office at no stage requested a briefing in relation to this particular bill.