Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 1 November 2017) . . Page.. 4834 ..
his office or to his favourite clubs. Incidentally, ClubsACT was part of that event too.
Unlike Mr Parton, who seems to want to lessen the steps that we are taking regarding the impact of problem gambling, this government is absolutely committed to reducing the impact of problem gambling on this community. We do not play it down. We have been clear in our election policies, in our commitment to the parliamentary agreement and in our strong track record over the past year. We are committed to reducing the number of electronic gaming machines to 4,000 by 2020.
We are continually consulting and looking at the evidence to build the best framework that will balance the importance of the role of many clubs in their community, supporting community groups and providing sporting infrastructure and a social and recreational hub in their neighbourhood, against ensuring that this work is not funded by problem gamblers whose addiction affects not only them but their families, their colleagues, their friends and their broader community.
Earlier in this place we all agreed to a bill that had the effect of limiting EFTPOS withdrawals in clubs to $200 per transaction, from a single point and with trained staff interaction. This has been a simple but practical measure in the suite of measures that we need to address gambling harm in our community, while not inhibiting the social and recreational offering of clubs. In addition to the industry round table that I hosted in September, I have also had advice from an expert panel of academics on harm minimisation research, and I will soon be convening a round table to specifically hear from the workers in the clubs sector, as staff are a key part of any harm minimisation approach.
Canberrans have made it clear that they expect this government to treat harm minimisation as a priority, and to deliver robust and effective reforms. Problem gambling has a devastating set of consequences for individuals and for families. Courageous individuals, including Professor Laurie Brown, have come forward and shared detailed and personal accounts of the effects of problem gambling, and their examples show us why it is critical to keep working towards a stronger harm minimisation framework.
The government will not be supporting Mr Parton’s motion. It is out of date, it is built on a false premise and it rejects the importance of reducing the harm caused to individuals and to our community by problem gambling.
MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (4.00): The Greens will not be supporting this motion today. While we agree with Mr Parton that community clubs provide significant value to our community, we do not accept that the good work clubs do means that they have a right not to be subject to scrutiny. We believe that the social licence for clubs to be reliant on poker machine revenue has expired, and we support the government working with clubs to help them diversify their revenue streams.
The Greens believe that clubs make a significant social and economic contribution to the Canberra community. The history of the clubs is very interesting. Many of the clubs were initially established in Canberra as places for like-minded communities to come together. That is best underlined by the very nature of the clubs. Some of them