In the Media
This letter was published recently in the star in response to an application for pokies by a local club.
To the Editor,
Congratulations to Brimbank Council for taking a stand on pokies. I was thrilled to read about council’s decision to reject a planning permit application from Club Italia in St Albans to increase the number of gaming machines it has from 38 to 60. What would be the point of council having a gambling action plan if they were to ignore it?
Pokies are causing untold damage to our community, through stress-related physical and psychological ill health. Other adverse effects include family breakdown, domestic violence, criminal activity, disruption to or loss of employment and social isolation. Additionally, problem gambling may compromise their capacity to afford necessities such as adequate nutrition, heating, shelter, transport, medications and health services.
Pokies in Brimbank are taking people’s hard earned wages to the tune of $ 9.7 million, money that could be directly spent on shopping locally and supporting our local community.
I support council’s brave decision. We need to say no to pokies and start demanding adequate levels of funding for local sports and recreation so that clubs are not dependant on pokies revenue.
Taking action on this issue is long overdue. We need a state wide cap on pokies and the removal of ATM’s from gambling venues immediately.