Casino Control Amendment Bill 2023

Casino Control Amendment Bill 2023

(Consideration in Detail, 28 November 2023, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)

I will not be supporting the Opposition's amendment. The amendment places strong limitations on the Government and its agreements with the Star. Agreements with the Star and work with the Star can, and should, include encouraging the Star to embrace further harm minimisation strategies and encouraging it to diversify away from gaming or gambling revenue. It is very reasonable to expect that there may be some concession or incentive that may need to be provided to help it to prevent the harm that the casino does cause people.

As members know, I am probably one of the strongest anti-gambling members in this Parliament. I wish the Star and the Crown did not exist. Unlike the Government and the Opposition, I opposed the legislation to create the second casino and, had I been here for the first casino I would have opposed it. I will not be supporting the amendment. It is very restrictive. It could prevent activities that help the Star move away from gambling revenue or diversify or support staff. We do not know what global event could happen that could require the Government to provide support to the employees of the Star, as we saw during the pandemic.

I note that the Opposition did not consult at all with the crossbench on the amendment. The Government consulted with us on the Opposition amendment. Had we had the opportunity to sit down and discuss matters, I am sure, as is always the case with the Minister responsible, we could have reached some sort of outcome or agreement, but we did not do that. I will not be supporting the amendment. I did not have the chance to speak on the very quick second reading debate, but I do support the intention of the bill. I think the jobs guarantee with the oversight of the union is an appropriate and creative mechanism, which I think will keep the jobs in place but also ensure that there is ongoing scrutiny of the Star.

Let's work together to celebrate and protect our great city!