Page 4833 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 1 November 2017
Of the 45 recommendations in that report—or 46, if we note that recommendation 35 was split into two—the government agreed or agreed in principle with 25 of them, noted 10 of them and did not agree with 11 of them. Contrary to Mr Parton’s assertion in the motion that a number of recommendations in the report are yet to be implemented, by my count all of those that were agreed to or agreed in principle have been addressed, superseded or are being addressed in the current work of the government in multiple portfolio areas, including our work to further reduce the harm caused to the community from gambling.
I do not know whether there has been a little more focus on the next selfie stick video rather than on checking the facts; we might see that later. Maybe it would be advisable at times for Mr Parton to spend more time paying attention to what the government is doing rather than planning the next media stunt, because three days before he first sought to lodge this motion, on 18 September, I had already convened a landmark gambling harm minimisation round table with representation from all of the clubs’ representative groups—all of them—as well as expert academics, people with lived experience of gambling harm and community sector organisations that help to deal with the social impact of gambling harm.
That round table discussed how to develop a better evidence base for minimising the harm from problem gambling. The participants considered a broad range of options for improved harm minimisation, including the sharing of best practice between venues, ensuring appropriate staff training and self-exclusion rules. That group, comprising all of the club representative bodies, agreed that new measures, like precommitments and other technological solutions, should be explored.
My office and I are engaging, and do engage, with all clubs and their representative bodies. The constant assertions that we do not engage with ClubsACT are simply incorrect. ClubsACT was at the round table a month ago and was a meaningful contributor to the conversations that day about gambling harm reduction. My office has been meeting with member clubs of ClubsACT, when requested, on matters in relation to gambling reform. So it is particularly disappointing that Mr Parton continues to spout inaccuracies, especially when the evidence is very clear.
Indeed, if he had paid attention to what was reported on that day, he would have had photographic proof from that day of my engagement with the clubs sector, including with ClubsACT. Maybe a bit more time is being devoted to the latest syndicate; I do not know whether the latest syndicate will be formed to buy a poker machine and run it in the ACT. Considering Mr Parton’s comments in the Canberra Times back in May this year that gambling addiction was no more serious than having a proclivity for chocolate, I am not surprised that he seems little interested in being up to date on what actually is happening, including the government’s partnership with the clubs sector.
I do note that this week is Gambling Harm Awareness Week. We are yet to hear from Mr Parton about the importance of this initiative in reducing the harm caused by gambling. I was pleased on Monday this week to launch the Gambling and Racing Commission’s latest harm reduction venue support kit, with the motto of “Don’t play it down”. I have some of the resources here, if Mr Parton would like take them back to