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Thursday, 29 November 2012
Page: 10390

Senator CHRIS EVANS (Western AustraliaMinister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (21:54): I just want to indicate, so as not to appear rude, that the government will not be supporting these amendments. We have indicated before that the proposition we are advancing in the bill does not support a limit on the bet. As to Senator Xenophon's argument, the government made a policy decision based on the Productivity Commission's advice that precommitment was a strong, practicable and ultimately cost-effective option for harm minimisation—I know the senator argues that we should pick up both. The government has made a decision not to do that, and that is why it is not reflected in the legislation.

Senator Xenophon: One-dollar bets was the primary recommendation, though.

Senator CHRIS EVANS: I am not saying you are misleading at all, Senator Xenophon. I am just trying to be brief in my reply. But the government, as you know, has taken a policy decision to pursue that aspect of the Productivity Commission's advice and to seek to get something through this parliament that can make a difference. We are not supporting the amendments you propose; we know the arguments back and forth on that.