Question put forward to the Hon. CARMEL ZOLLO (Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Road Safety, Minister for Gambling, Minister Assisting the Minister for Multicultural Affairs) regarding the gamblers rehabilitation fund.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (14:27): Can the Minister for Gambling advise the council of the status of the grants to NGOs through the Gamblers Rehabilitation Fund, and has she received any representations about the fact that the Treasury component of the fund has not been increased in the past four years?
The Hon. CARMEL ZOLLO (Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Road Safety, Minister for Gambling, Minister Assisting the Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (14:27): I thank the honourable member for her important questions.
The PRESIDENT: Order! The minister has the call.
The Hon. CARMEL ZOLLO: Thank you, Mr President. As honourable members would know, the Gamblers Rehabilitation Fund was established in 1994 to fund services, provide support and rehabilitate people affected by problem gambling. As one would expect, both the government and the gambling industry contribute to the fund. I think the office of the Minister for Gambling was established by those opposite. In fact, I think we have the first minister for gambling in this chamber. The Hon. Robert Brokenshire held that office when he was a member of the Liberal Party.
The PRESIDENT: Order!
The Hon. CARMEL ZOLLO: If they want to interject, it is their question time. The point I am making is that the Department for Families and Communities manages that fund. So, I will refer any request for information I am unable to provide to the Minister for Families and Communities in another place. Clearly, there is good logic in having that separation between myself as the Minister for Gambling and the Minister for Families and Communities.
It is a free and confidential gambling help service, and it provides gambling and financial counselling, group support and intensive treatment. The Gambling Helpline is a free 24 hour/seven days a week information and crisis helpline. The government contribution is currently set at $3.845 million per annum, and the industry contribution is currently set at $1.61 million per annum. I understand there is an intention to increase funding, and the new codes of practice, which will require a stronger relationship between gambling help services, clubs and hotels, will be implemented in early December.
As I have said, I will bring back a response on any information that I have not been able to provide today, and I will also confer with the minister in the other place.
Wednesday 8 April 2009
In reply to the Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (29 October 2008).
The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for State/Local Government Relations, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Government Enterprises, Minister Assisting the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Energy): The Minister for Families and Communities has provided the following information:
The restructure of gambling help services began in March 2008 after a review of the service structure to provide improved client outcomes and greater service efficiencies.
The competitive open submission process is now complete and the restructure of the gambling help services will be completed by early 2009.
It should be noted that three of the state regions did not have a preferred applicant and an invited submission process is underway.
The government's contribution to the Gamblers Rehabilitation Fund is currently fixed under the Gaming Machines Act 1992 at $3.845 million.