Labor Government should stop shifting goal posts and engage with clubs

The Labor-Greens Government should stop treating community clubs with contempt and should embrace the important social and economic contribution that clubs make to Canberra, Shadow Minister for Gaming and Racing Mark Parton said today.

“The Labor Government has shifted the regulatory goal posts for community clubs for too long, and is now committed to a vindictive sidelining of any engagement with Clubs ACT,” Mr Parton said.

“In the past 10 years clubs have had to deal with a myriad of costly regulatory changes including: multiple tax increases; the introduction of the problem gambling fund levy; an increase to the community contribution level; ATM bans and EFTPOS restrictions; and, a reduction in the total number of electronic gaming machines.

“Despite the regulations and the Government’s vindictive sidelining of some clubs, the community continues to support clubs.

“This week in the Assembly, I am urging the Government to stop shifting the goal posts and to instead recognise the very important contribution that clubs continue to make to the ACT through social contribution, investment, employment and recreational infrastructure.

“I will also be challenging the Government to stop with its vindictive attitude toward Clubs ACT and actively engage with all clubs and representative bodies.

“Our clubs should be applauded for their contribution to the lowest problem gambling levels in the country. Instead it seems that some club members are still being punished for daring to speak out against the Government in the 2016 ACT election campaign.

“I’d love to see the Government follow the recommendations of a 2016 tri-partisan committee report that urged the Government to reduce the red tape which hampers diversification away from gambling revenue.

“Above all else, I think it’s only fair to provide some certainty for clubs by committing to a moratorium of any changes to gaming machine regulations for this term of Government,” Mr Parton concluded.