Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 15-05-18 Contents NEWS
Tu esday May 15, 2018
THE CHRONICLE/THE QUEANBEYAN AGE
ACT extends pokies plan
THE ACT government has
extended its poker machine
transfer scheme for another
year - with only 38 machines
forfeited - but clubs are left
waiting for new laws to im-
plement a promised 4000
cap meant to replace it.
Ramsay last week intro-
duced a bill to extend the
scheme until August 2019, a
year longer than the original
timeline set by then-minister
Joy Burch in 2015, as well as
further changes related to
It comes as casino own-
ers' Aquis faces a deadline
this week to respond to the
government on its plans
for its unsolicited bid for a
ment of the casino and Can-
berra's clubs await details on
the potential forced surren-
der of hundreds of machines
from next April.
When announced three
years ago, the trading scheme
was meant to help reduce the
number of poker machines
to 15 per 1000 ACT residents
over three years to August
2018, replacing a previous
commitment to a 4000 total
cap on machine numbers in
Canberra. But since it started
operating, the scheme has
resulted in only 38 machine
authorisations actually being
forfeited, when the scheme
initially began, with clubs
largely holding tight amid
uncertainty about the future.
In a discussion paper
published in September, the
government also planned
to begin forcing clubs to
surrender them to meet the
4000 cap target last month,
a time limit that was also ex-
tended by a year.
Under the bill Mr Ramsay
introduced last Thursday,
the original August 2018
deadline has been extended
to August next year. Ramsay
said further legislation would
be forthcoming to imple-
ment the 4000 cap. It would
be the third piece of govern-
ment legislation introduced
since the 2016 election deal-
ing with the poker machine
transfer scheme, the casino
proposal, or both.
spokesman Mark Parton said
the government's apparent
piecemeal approach to re-
forming gaming regulation
was an absolute debacle
that was causing confusion
among local clubs and
BY DANIEL BURDON
A NEW suburb planned for Canberra's north
could heighten the risk of flooding along a
section of Canberra's light rail route that was
inundated during a one-in-100-year weather
event earlier this year.
The ACT government has signed a $126,000
contract with Australian engineering firm
SMEC to investigate the risk of flooding on
Flemington and Morriset roads.
Both roads are already prone to flooding
and development in the new Gungahlin sub-
urb of Kenny could worsen the situation, the
contract signed last month states.
"Flemington and Morriset Roads are key
transport routes. Flemington Road for gen-
eral traffic as well as the light rail, Morriset
Road specifically as a heavy vehicle access
to the Federal Highway and for some traffic,"
the documents read.
A Transport Canberra spokeswoman said
while there were parts of the light rail route
known to flood, the project was designed to
"achieve sustainable flood immunity" for the
tracks, platforms and adjacent roadways.
She also said trunk drainage had been
upgraded along the route to stop flooding on
private property, and improvements made
to the Flemington Road ponds near Mitchell
to better protect against flooding from Sulli-
"This is consistent with key project require-
ments for responding to existing potential
flooding by completing flood assessment of
the design to ensure the light rail is protected
from flooding and flood levels are not in-
creased along the corridor," she said.
– K ATIE BURGESS
Light rail works at the end of last year.
Photo: Karleen Minney
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