Mayors unite for gambling reform (Media release)

Moreland City Council Mayor, Cr John Kavanagh, is leading a group of metropolitan mayors as they unite in their push for meaningful gambling reform.

Mayors from five major metropolitan councils have joined with The Alliance for Gambling Reform on the steps of State Parliament to put all Victorian politicians on notice.

“Our Councils are dealing with the dire consequences of pokies. As community leaders we are standing together to make sure this will be crucial state election issue. Enough is enough,” said Mayor Kavanagh.

The mayors are calling on the State Government and opposition parties to commit to $1 maximum bets, clamp down on losses disguised as wins and reduce venue opening hours.

“Our communities are suffering from gambling harm and it’s only getting worse,” he said.

With the state election exactly four months away, Alliance director and spokesman Tim Costello welcomed the unprecedented commitment of local government leaders.

“Councils such as Merri-bek, Darebin, Whittlesea, Yarra and Wyndham are at the coal face of gambling harm and I sincerely welcome the commitment of their mayors to the cause of fixing this blight on Australian society,” said Mr Costello.

Moreland City Council was a founding member of the Alliance for Gambling Reform and has fought tirelessly to reduce the damage caused by pokies in the community.

Earlier this year Council had a major victory when the Supreme Court ruled VCAT had made an error in law in approving 10 additional gaming machines at a Merri-bek venue.

“Since 1992, total losses from poker machines at Merri-bek’s venues has cost our community almost $1.5 billion in losses. Money that many in our community just cannot afford,” said the Mayor.

When: Tuesday 24 July at 11 am.

Where: Front steps of State Parliament, Spring Street, East Melbourne.

Who: The Mayor of Merri-bek City Council, Cr John Kavanagh; Mayor of Whittlesea, Cr Kris Pavlidis; Mayor of Darebin, Cr Kim Le Cerf; Mayor of Wyndham, Peter Maynard; Deputy Cr Misha Coleman and Alliance director and spokesman Tim Costello.

– ENDS –

24 July 2018