Government business

Community Gaming Bill 2018

House of Origin: Legislative Council

The bill provides a framework for the regulation of gaming activities for community or charitable purposes. It seeks to ensure that the proceeds of permitted gaming activities go to the persons, purposes or organisations for which the activities are purported to be conducted. The bill applies to a number of types of gaming activities, including games of chance and the awarding of a prize by lot. The bill makes it an offence to fail to award a prize to the winner of a permitted gaming activity.

The bill was introduced and the Minister’s second reading speech delivered in the previous sitting week. Resumption of the debate on the second reading of the bill was the first item of Government business for the day. (See Hansard for a transcript of the debate) After a brief debate, the second reading was agreed to.

In the committee stage, the Greens moved several amendments to the bill, which sought to prohibit gaming activities for trade promotion purposes relating to liquor sales or involving liquor prizes. The Greens amendments drew the support of the Christian Democratic Party only and were negatived on the voices.

The third reading was agreed to and the bill forwarded to the Legislative Assembly for concurrence.

Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Bill 2018

House of origin: Legislative Council

The bill amends the Workers Compensation Act 1987 and the Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998 to simplify the dispute resolution process for injured workers.

In its March 2017 report, the Standing Committee on Law and Justice identified duplication and complexity in the current workers compensation scheme as matters requiring attention. It recommended that the Government consider establishing a one-stop shop for resolving workers compensation disputes. Following this, the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation commissioned research which confirmed the need for simplification.

The bill reestablishes the Workers Compensation Commission as the central dispute resolution body in the scheme. The bills also reforms the dispute resolution process relating to work capacity decisions by abolishing the complicated system of internal reviews, merit reviews and procedural reviews.

Debate on the second reading of the bill resumed on Tuesday (see Hansard for details of the debate). While supporting the bill, both the Opposition and the Greens were of the view that the bill should go further to reinstate various provisions which were removed from the legislation during the major 2012 reforms to the compensation scheme. The second reading was agreed to.

In the committee stage the Opposition moved six amendments which sought to change the definition of suitable employment, remove the restrictions on claiming for injuries sustained when travelling to and from work, and ensure that injured workers would continue to receive weekly payments after five years. While drawing the support of The Greens and the Animal Justice Party, the amendments were opposed by the Government and the Christian Democratic Party and were negatived, either on the voices or on divisions (16:19).

The third reading was agreed to and the bill was forwarded to the Legislative Assembly for concurrence.

Road Transport Legislation Amendment (Penalties and Other Sanctions) Bill

House of Origin: Legislative Assembly

The bill increases the maximum penalties for certain alcohol and other drug related driving offences and allows police to issue immediate licence suspension notices when a driver has committed an offence relating to novice range, special range or low range prescribed concentration of alcohol. The bill expands the mandatory alcohol interlock program to include more offences, and permits Roads and Maritime Services to require persons convicted of certain alcohol and other drug related driving offences to undertake education programs. Conduct that results in damage, disruption or obstruction to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and other major bridges and tunnels is an offence under the bill.

On 19 September 2018 the House agreed to a Selection of Bills Committee recommendation that the bill be referred to the Standing Committee on Law and Justice for inquiry and report at the conclusion of the bill’s second reading debate, but before the question that the House agree to the second reading was put. The report of the Law and Justice committee which was tabled on Tuesday morning  included a recommendation that the Legislative Council ‘consider amendments in the committee stage that address stakeholder concerns raised in this inquiry’.

Later in the evening, when the question on the second reading of the bill was put, The Greens indicated their opposition to the bill by calling for a division, nevertheless the second reading was agreed to (31:5).

The Opposition, The Greens, the Animal Justice Party and the Christian Democratic Party all circulated amendments to the bill prior to the committee stage. Ultimately two amendments to the bill were agreed to: a Greens amendment concerning the definition of “drug” and a Christian Democratic Party amendment concerning the circumstances under which interlock exemption orders may be made by a court.

The third reading of the bill was agreed to and the bill was returned to the Legislative Assembly with amendments.

 Adjournment debate

The following members spoke to the adjournment debate:

  • Mr Secord – Mr Craig Elliot
  • Mr Pearson – Animals and Children
  • Revd Nile – Nuclear Energy and Electricity Prices
  • Mr Franklin – Men’s Shed Week
  • Mr Veitch – Food Security
  • Mrs Maclaren-Jones – Granville Electorate Programs

See Hansard for details of the debate. (hyperlink to first fragment of adjournment)