Page 4834 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Someone once said to me that Tuggeranong is the place in Canberra which is most like the rest of Australia, and I think they would be right. Madam Speaker, the point that I am trying to make is that, compared to Mr Barr’s vision of a soy latte sipping, solar panelled, non-gender-specific, cool little compact capital, Tuggeranong is vastly different. Community is different in the valley, and that community is often based around the local club. The Vikings in four different locations, the Southern Cross Club in the town centre, the Calwell Club: these are places where working people, retired people, young people and families are brought together under all sorts of banners, whether it be sport, community organisations or just a great meeting place.

Mr Barr, Mr Rattenbury and Mr Ramsay do not understand that concept of community, and they will do whatever they can to destroy it. And it will not just affect Tuggeranong; it will affect Woden, Belconnen, Weston Creek, the inner north, the inner south and Gungahlin. They will all be hit.

Let me quantify that hit for you. Let me explain it in pure, raw numbers. The raw number I am going to focus on is $2 million. And please understand, Madam Speaker, that that figure is not entirely about this bill; it is about changes made over a year or so, but most of it is contained in this bill. Let us start with the problem gambling assistance fund. The contribution was raised from 0.6 per cent to 0.75 per cent as at July 2017. This change saw an additional $250,000 levied across the clubs sector. That was on 1 July 2017. On 1 July 2019 the contribution to the Chief Minister’s fund in this bill will be introduced at 0.4 per cent, and a separate harm minimisation fund will be introduced at 0.4 per cent. At current net gaming revenue levels, that equates to an additional $750,000. This money is not discretionary for the club; it is not a charity; it is a tax—three-quarters of a million dollars. Our tally is up to $1 million.

On 1 July 2019, additionally, a new levy will be introduced—and this is the biggest kicker in this bill—on each gaming machine owned by a club, at $20 per machine per month on the first 99 authorisations, and then $30 per machine per month thereafter. This tax equates to around a million dollars across the clubs sector.

If you add them all up, we are talking about two million extra dollars that this sector has to find from nowhere. We are not talking about corporations. We are not talking about rich individuals here. We are talking about not-for-profit organisations, effectively. We are talking about organisations that are in stress, and some of them are teetering on the verge of unviability.

I can tell you, Madam Speaker, that one club board member said to me recently, “Can’t you just explain to Mr Rattenbury,” that these changes may well bring about the closure of his club. He was going to give me accounting sheets to take in to Mr Rattenbury. I said to him, “The problem is that Mr Rattenbury doesn’t see the closure of your club as necessarily a bad thing.” Indeed, Mr Rattenbury would quietly celebrate the closure of any club. I think one of his fantasies is the prospect of every club becoming unviable, then they can all close down and he can race off to his progressive base and claim victory. He can say, “I haven’t just closed the greyhound industry; I’ve closed the clubs. All of those people who were doing the right things, all of those sporting and community organisations, they’ve been punished, but at least

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video