Wed, Nov 28, 3:30pm by Staff Writer
Wyndham council in Melbourne’s west has received a planning application seeking permission to build a new seven-storey entertainment and commercial complex in Truganina and 70 poker machines have been included in the request.
The application also includes a gaming venue, a licensed premises, a serviced apartment hotel and residential building.
The complex is set to cost A$18 million to construct, according to the Star Weekly.
The Wyndham council recently granted approval for 10 poker machines to be added to the Werribee Football Club’s Tigers Clubhouse venue in Hoppers Crossing.
The A$1.69 million redevelopment of the complex includes a new storage area and courtyard, an extension of liquor license area and the 10 new poker machines.
The proposal was approved by four of the six available councillors in November after gaining approval from the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Regulation in May.
Wyndham City Gambling Reference Advocacy Group chair Josh Gilligan said the council would submit a social and impact assessment to the commission.
Cr Gilligan said, “council is supportive of sporting clubs who recognise that gambling can cause significant harm to our community members.
“We are supportive of any club that may want to transition away from electronic gaming machines and would welcome any club or hotel to speak to us about their intent so we can provide assistance where possible.”
In October 2018, the Wyndham council knocked back plans to boost poker machine numbers at The Tigers Clubhouse.
@Joshuagilligan has been a champion at @WyndhamCouncil on pokies reform – looking forward to his comments at council tonight on the Werribee FC application for 10 more pokies. See earlier coverage https://t.co/Jq8Nu151mo
— Stephen Mayne (@MayneReport) October 2, 2018
Five of eight councillors at the time voted against the plan.
Cr Gilligan said the application would be subject to the council’s gaming policy under the Wyndham Planning Scheme.
The policy is designed to “mitigate pokies harm in vulnerable communities like Truganina,” according to Cr Gilligan.
Cr Gilligan spoke out again the State Government’s decision to add 80 new poker machines to Wyndham from 2022.
This meant that new machines could be installed in venues in Tarneit, Truganina and Point Cook, taking the area’s total number of electronic gaming machines from 903 to 983.
Truganina is located 22km west of Melbourne’s Central Business District and is home to more than 21,000 people.
Opposition to the installation of new poker machines isn’t new in Australia, with a paper by the Australia Institute outlining the country’s love affair with the machines.
The paper highlights that 80 per cent of the world’s poker machines are in dedicated gambling venues such as casinos.
Only 241,000 poker machines worldwide are in non-gaming venues, with 183,000 of these in Australia’s pubs and clubs.
Australia has 0.3 per cent of the world’s population but 6 per cent of its conventional gaming machines and 18 cent of its poker machines the report said.
Australia has the most poker machines per person of any country in the world, excluding the gambling holiday hotspots of Macau and Monaco.
The country is also the undisputed champion of gambling losses, forfeiting 40 per cent more per head than second-placed Singapore according to The Economist.
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