Give Back Councils Power - Alliance for Gambling Reform

Give Back Councils Power

Dear Minister Toole,

The current Local Impact Assessment Scheme is hurting our communities. Councils are currently not permitted to consider the social impacts of gambling within a Development Application. Council's know their local areas best and need to be able to stop pokie expansion to prevent gambling-related harm and protect the well-being of the community.

NSW is the home of the world's largest gambling growth and problems. Spending on pokies last financial year is up 9.5% from the previous year. The average of losses from poker machines in NSW is estimated to be over $5.4 billion.

We know the harms associated with gambling: addiction, poverty, homelessness and domestic violence. We don't want that for our communities. We need our local councils to be able to stop pokie applications after considering the social implications. We demand that you consider the genuine needs of the community and act!

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"Between 2009 and March 7 this year, of 155 applications for a pokie increase in NSW venues, 133 were approved, eight refused and 15 withdrawn before a decision was made. That's an approval rate of 85 per cent. During 2015-16, $1.26 million in "donations" were made by venues as part of the approval process." This is alarming and it's got to change.

NSW has the lowest level of consultation with community required and currently, local councils in NSW are not permitted to consider the social affects of gambling within a Development Application and prevent more pokies. This seriously inhibits a community's ability to be heard and raise its concerns over the impact pokies will have on their local area. The current Local Impact Assessment Scheme is hurting communities and it's got to go.