Tuesday, April 06, 2010

pokies in chirnside – no thanks

The Shire of Yarra Ranges recently had to provide a submission to the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation about the proposed relocation of 70 pokie machines to a new venue on a significant corner in Chirnside Park.

An application has been lodged to construct a hotel, function centre and recreation facility at 266 Maroondah Highway. It is a prominent, gateway location to the Shire of Yarra Ranges and the Yarra Valley. It is adjacent to the Chirnside Park Shopping Centre and is a completely inappropriate siting for such a facility.

I am opposed the move based on some serious concerns about the suitability of the site for gambling and the impact on our local economy and families in the region.

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Part of the application includes the proposal to install 70 pokie machines which would be relocated from the Lilydale International site, which is being converted into retirement accommodation.

It is well know that pokies attract patrons from disadvantaged areas well beyond the borders of Chirnside Park. Our local economy loses millions of dollars to pokies, the last thing we’d support is greater financial strain on families as well as intensifying problem gambling in our community.

Yarra Ranges sees losses of $35million per annum in the Shire, this money would be far better spent in our local economies, rather than through the slot of a pokie machine. The cumulative losses since 1992, in today’s dollars, equals $500million, this is a massive hole in terms of money that could be spent elsewhere.

We know that problem gambling has significant negative health and wellbeing outcomes for families. It is a major determinant of ill health and the associated anti-social behaviour of problem gamblers has a significant negative impact on community well being.

And worst of all, the applicant has not even consulted with the community so community members haven’t even had the opportunity to voice their concerns to the regulator.

The Shire of Yarra Ranges council has always had strong concerns about the negative impact of gambling and has developed a responsible gambling strategy aimed at reducing the incidence of problem gambling.

The social costs are enormous, not to mention the economic impact to small business and employment. I will always be opposed to any additional pokie venues or machines, they are a blight on our community and take money from people who can least afford it.

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3 Comments:

At 7:44 AM, Blogger Mario "Coldstream" Galteri said...

I agree, pokies are just suck money out of people who can not afford it.
It's adictive to a lot of people just like smoking.
Keep them out of the Yarra Ranges.

 
At 12:02 AM, Blogger Samantha Dunn said...

I think when more of our community learn about the pokies proposal, there will be a lot more people saying keep out.

 
At 12:01 PM, Blogger Liz said...

Yes, totally agree. Actually, when I first migrated here there were no pokies in Victoria. And that was a good thing.

 

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