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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 23 August 2018) . . Page.. 3501 ..

Clubs will, as is the situation now, be able to make decisions about the distribution of the eight per cent community contribution. We will increase the amount required for community contributions, and part of that increase will go to the Chief Minister’s Charitable Fund. We will keep working with community groups and the industry in deciding on what the amount of the increase should be. This will expand the amount of money the community gets and extend the already broad reach of support from the scheme.

This government is committed to a sustainable, diverse and community-focused clubs sector. We are going to support our clubs to preserve and strengthen the services they offer to this community. At the same time we are going to make sure that we have even more robust protections against gambling harm.

We have engaged with club workers, clubs and experts in this field to develop today’s pathway to reach 4,000. We will keep consulting and keep delivering on this government’s commitment to a safer, stronger, and more connected city where our clubs industry is diverse and sustainable and provides robust protections against gambling harm.

I present the following papers:

Pathway to 4000 gaming machine authorisations and reducing gambling harm—Ministerial statement, 23 August 2018.

ACT Club Industry Diversification Support Analysis—Findings and recommendations, prepared by Neville Stevens AO, dated 4 June 2018.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the ministerial statement.

MR PARTON (Brindabella) (10.28): Earlier in the week I alluded in this chamber to the banners that were placed in clubs in the lead-up to the election campaign of 2016 that read, “Don’t let ACT Labor destroy your clubs.” That is what they feared in 2016, and that fear is real. This is not a scare campaign from the Liberals; this is real. Mr Barr, Mr Rattenbury, Mr Ramsay and every single member on the Labor-Greens benches are keen on closing your club. They do not understand the importance of community. They do not understand the importance of local grassroots sport.

I think it is actually important to note in this debate that they do not understand the Australian tradition of having a punt. They just do not get it. While you are off having a bet on the Melbourne Cup, they are scratching their heads. It is not in their DNA. They will never understand it. It is not funky enough for them; it is just a little bit too last century, a little bit mainstream. Having a punt is just a bit too “hits and old school” for them.

I have spoken to many club executives and club staff in recent weeks and I would seriously love to know how many the minister has spoken with. When I say “the minister”, I do not mean Neville Stephens; I do not mean the minister’s chief of staff;

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