Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 2 November 2017) . . Page.. 4947 ..
because it will cost a fortune. This is pie in the sky, wowser-ish, nanny state, fairy tale stuff, none of which will work in the real world. And Mr Barr knows it.
Canberra Casino would become the only casino in the world with such draconian measures imposed. Other international examples of mandatory pre commitment have failed. This is just another example of this government meddling in areas that it has no understanding of.
In closing, I will think out aloud. If the government has already conceded that Aquis is leaving and if they have set up the framework for these changes, I can only wonder whether one of our licensed clubs might step forward to purchase the casino. Who would like to hazard a guess which club that might be? I do not know; let us pick a club out of the blue: the Tradies club, for argument’s sake.
Is there anyone who thinks the Tradies club might step forward to purchase the casino, grab the opportunity to get the fully automated gaming tables, and perhaps get around any of these harm minimisation measures and development clause measures by “redeveloping the casino precinct”? They could redevelop a section next door to the casino into a licensed club. Perhaps you could walk straight through, from the casino gaming floor to the club, where you could play the pokies without any of the harm minimisation rules in this bill.
It is not the casino; this is Tradies in the city. But the Tradies would still get their FATGs to run in the casinos. What a bonus. And you think that any deal to set this up is not one that any government would agree to? You would have thought that about the Dickson car park and building arrangement there. On the face of it, it would be very difficult to jump through the regulatory hoops when it comes to setting up such an operation. But this government and the CFMEU are very good at finding inventive and creative ways to jump through regulatory hoops. We look forward to Tradies in the city.
MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism and Major Events) (4.22): We will come back to planet earth now. As the attorney noted in introducing this bill, it provides the legislative framework for access to different gaming products at the casino. Whether the casino should or should not have access to gaming machines has been the subject of community debate in this city for about three decades. This bill seeks to settle that question and makes clear the government’s expectations about the conditions for access to electronic gaming products.
This bill also establishes the most significant harm minimisation measures in the country and important controls on access for electronic gaming products. Further provisions will cover a range of additional matters, including taxation and community contribution rates and a range of other technical, administrative and operational matters. The government is making a significant decision to enable the licensee of the casino, whoever that licensee should be, to apply to operate a limited number of gaming machines on the condition that they provide a significant benefit to the community in return.