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Good Labor idea but 3 years late.

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M283/2001 25 September 2001


Federal Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government, Senator Ian Macdonald today said Labor's calls for the Christmas Island Casino license to be revoked seemed reasonable - but the call is three years behind the times.

Responding to media reports last weekend that Member for Northern Territory, Warren Snowdon, had called on the Government to revoke the license, Senator Macdonald said the Howard Government had, in fact, revoked the license in July 1998.

"So, good idea - but Labor is three years behind the times," he said.

Senator Macdonald said the sale of the Resort and casino had been, quite rightly, the responsibility of the Receiver, because it was a corporations matter.

"However, the decision on the license is a separate issue and an applicant would need to meet the necessary probity requirements. We haven't had an application and we haven't issued a new license.

"The license Labor wants me to revoke is a figment of their imagination."

Senator Macdonald said even a cursory glance at the recommendations in a recent Senate report on the sale of the Resort showed that Labor had no understanding of the legal issues surrounding insolvency, receivership, leases and Casino licenses.

"If Labor had been following the issue more closely they would not have embarrassed themselves by showing their ignorance of these very important technical issues," Senator Macdonald said

"That's why you can never trust Labor with important financial and legal issues."

Media inquiries: David Moore 02 6277 7060 / 0417 774 724