on rise in pokies
FAIRFIELD City Council has admitted it has
not objected to a rise in the number of poker machines in local clubs.
admission comes after an investigation by the Fairfield City Champion discovered
that the council had not opposed poker machine increases at any club or pub
100 new machines may soon be added to the 4000 already in the area if Canley
Heights RSL's application for 56 new machines and Cabra-Vale Diggers'
application for 36 more machines are approved.
Thang Ngo said he was "appalled" to learn that the objections to the
increases had not been made, especially as the council had a "clear
gambling policy" opposing any rise in the number of poker machines.
Ngo said the
was told they couldn't object to the applications because they didn't have the
staff to do it," he said.
can't understand this. If I can read the submissions and object to them, why
can't the council?"
Ngo said council staff members had told him they had objected to each
submission, but that the Department of Gaming and Racing said the council had
not objected to any application in the past year.
says he doesn't believe that staff shortage is a mitigating factor towards not
submitting an objection.
is an important issue," Cr Ngo said. "It needs to be treated as such
and resources dedicated to it."
council's gambling policy is at present under review.
councillors recently declined to hold a gambling summit to tackle local problems
until after a new policy is completed at the end of 2008.