Page 4945 - Week 13 - Thursday, 2 November 2017

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Far be it from me to give political advice to ACT Labor on matters such as this, but I cannot resist. I have a suggestion for ACT Labor. When it comes to trying to gain any benefit out of this unsolicited bid from Aquis—when it comes to trying to salvage anything out of the wreckage of this idea—my message to the Labor government is this: you made your bed; you lie in it.

You guys are running this town together. You have got this very cosy arrangement with the Greens, so sort it out with them. See whether you can come to any arrangement which would give any glimmer of hope to this glittering city redevelopment. See if you can come to any agreement which would allow any form of business case to survive. We wish you all the best of luck with that.

The Canberra Liberals have long supported the community gaming model in the ACT. Poker machines came to the ACT back in the 1970s. It must be said that for some it was a reluctant introduction. It was in part based on the large sums of money that were leaving the ACT and going straight across the border to Queanbeyan.

The poker machines were established here in the ACT for the right reasons. This was about supporting community clubs. As a community, we have all reaped the benefits. The sporting infrastructure that has been established in the ACT by our community clubs is staggering. By and large, the community contributions on so many levels make Canberra a much better city.

Of course, this government have been hell bent on seeking revenge against ClubsACT since the election last year. They did whatever they could to make it difficult for clubs, particularly under that peak body umbrella. The behaviour of the Chief Minister and the minister in this place has been deplorable. I urge them both to grow up.

So reiterating: the Canberra Liberals support the ongoing community gaming model here in the ACT. We see no need to change it. I refer to some specific parts of this bill. Part 5, section 21, states:

(1) The casino licensee—

having already gone through the process of acquiring the restricted authorisation—

may apply to the commission to have a restricted authorisation converted to an authorisation to operate a casino gaming machine …

(3) For subsection (2) (c), the required documents are the following:

… written evidence that the planning and land authority has—

(i) approved a development proposal … in relation to the redevelopment of the casino and … casino precinct …

The bill does not specify how grand or otherwise the redevelopment must be. As is the case with a number of things attached to this bill, it is left up to our imagination.

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