Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens' Gambling spokesperson
Burnie City Council’s decision to seek feedback from local businesses on the future of pokies in their community is timely. There’s a growing push to get these toxic machines out of pubs and clubs.
There’s a strong appetite for change on pokies. Councillors and Aldermen would be feeling the same pressure as other elected representatives, and are clearly conscious they must act.
The Burnie community lose over $7 million a year to poker machines. That’s money that pokies addicts could instead be using to feed their families.
Economic modelling shows pokies losses largely flow out of Tasmania. When pokies are removed from pubs and clubs, more money will be injected into local businesses, with far reaching social and economic benefits.
We hope Burnie City Council listen to the people whose lives have been wrecked by addiction and the community sector who help pick up the pieces, and don’t follow Launceston’s example, only listening to industry. At the LCC Strategic Policy and Planning meeting, the THA dominated the conversation and coerced Council away from seeking the community’s view.
The people of Burnie with serious gambling addictions and pokies dependency, and their families, need protection and support. Removing these parasitic machines from their community is the best place to start.