The Victorian Greens are taking on both big parties in an effort to retain Local Council's right to charge increased rates to pokies venues so as to tackle problem gambling in their communities.
Current debate in parliament is revealing that both Liberal and Labor will be supporting the Local Government Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 which may prevent Local Councils charging differential rates. Differential Rates enables Councils to charge higher rates to pokies venues so as to tackle the problem gambling and social issues that arise.
"Pokies create addiction that destroys people’s lives. We should be using every measure we can to discourage and minimise the damage" said the Victorian Greens Gambling Spokesperson Colleen Hartland.
"Greens and Labor Councillors have been working together at both Moreland and Darebin councils to fund community efforts to prevent and treat problem gambling".
"Local Councils are taking brave steps to address problem gambling yet both Liberal and Labor are looking like trampling these positive efforts".
"Moreland, Darebin and Ballarat councils have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars by charging higher rates to pokies venues and this money has been invested in their communities".
"If Liberal and Labor vote to see the passage of this Bill it will be the nail in the coffin for these Council initiatives that turn lives around. They may also be preventing other Councils across Victoria taking on such initiatives in the future. The misery caused by problem gambling will be on their heads" said Ms Hartland.
For comment: Colleen Hartland 9689 6373