Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 2 November 2017) . . Page.. 4954 ..
and their families. We are committed to continuing to work with the government to improve harm minimisation and reduce the impact of gambling harm both in the casino and across our city.
Finally, I would like to thank the Attorney-General for the discussions that have taken place in the preparation of this legislation. It is a challenging issue for all of us in this Assembly but through some considered conversations we have been able to come to a place where we get the best possible outcome for the Canberra community.
MR RAMSAY (Ginninderra—Attorney-General, Minister for Regulatory Services, Minister for the Arts and Community Events and Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (4.44), in reply: I thank members for their contributions and I also thank at this stage the scrutiny committee for its comments. I table a revised explanatory statement responding to a number of the matters in there to which I will return shortly.
As the Chief Minister has noted, there is a wide variety of views on this matter and, as we have heard today, Mr Parton seems to hold many of them. It was quite unclear whether the Liberals’ problem is that this creates the possibility that electronic gaming machines can operate potentially in the casino or whether it makes it too difficult for them along with the harm minimisation restrictions. What that reveals is that there is very clear internal conflict within the Canberra Liberals, and Mr Parton has managed to argue for both positions; I would not necessarily say effectively but at least loudly. What we have is a position that shows that there is no view even within the Canberra Liberals.
What I am pleased to speak on as we draw this debate to a close, as I told the Assembly when I introduced the bill in August, is that this bill does provide a framework to enable the casino in Canberra to operate electronic gaming products subject to the redevelopment of the casino and its precinct. As the Chief Minister has noted, this bill is not about any one company or the owner of the casino; it is about the principle of having electronic gaming machines at the casino and under what conditions. Of course, in line with the principle that gaming machines should be regulated for community benefits, this bill requires a significantly revamped venue and surrounds at the casino.
Today’s bill represents the position that electronic gaming machines can be allowed at the casino and can be operated there in a way that is nation leading in terms of minimising gambling harm. The bill provides the most robust harm minimisation measures for any casino in Australia. This is a strong message to our community and to the industry that this government is focused on gaming regulations that protect against harm.
The bill establishes a process for the casino to apply to the Gambling and Racing Commission for authorisation certificates to operate up to 200 gaming machines and up to 60 fully automated table game terminals. An application must be accompanied by a social impact assessment, or SIA. As with the existing process that applies to clubs wishing to operate a new or expanded venue, the SIA must outline the social and economic implications of the proposed electronic gaming products. The casino