Darebin City Council Candidate Responses - Alliance for Gambling Reform

Darebin City Council Candidate Responses

Candidate Responses

First Name










Last Name










Ward











Do you support reducing the opening hours of poker machine venues?




Do you support local governments having greater say on the granting or refusing applications for poker machines in their respective communities?
Do you support the banning of all sports gambling ads?






Will you pledge to not take any donations from venues or organisations that derive income from gambling interests?



Will you commit to reducing gambling harm in your LGA?



 

Which of the policies
referred to in our
Candidate Information Pack
do you support?

What is your position
on poker machine policy?





Craig Walters Central Your policies aren't strong enough.  Crown Casino needs to be turned into a homeless shelter (which it already is in some ways) and all pokies thrown on the fire (perhaps recycled; just like what they do with the money from them)
Jim Shen Central Here are the policies that I think we can achieve in the next 4 years:
- Discarding the phrases 'responsible gambling' and 'problem gambling' from council documents and discussions. These phrases reinforce stigma by placing responsibility for gambling harm and addiction on the individual instead of on the systems and structures in place that enable gambling harm
- Shift to the public health narrative of referring to 'gambling harm'
- To not allow future poker machine on Council land, and plan and support the transition
- To not hold council events or activities at gambling venues
Given the current pandemic and recession, the following policies require a nuanced approach. I don't think anyone can afford to gamble in the next four years, and this is a great opportunity to shift away from EGMs, but we need to help organisations and give them a chance to survive the transition process.
- To not make council grants available to venues or organisations that operate EGMs
- To make organisations that operate EGMs ineligible for rates discounts.
Omar Hassan  Central I personally feel that pokie machines should be either banned entirely or at the very least drastically reduced. It is wrong that venues and corporations are making so much money off some of the most vulnerable people in society. 
Brendan Cameron Central generally, there needs to be a large reduction in pokies access for the most disadvantaged in the community.
Esther Kennedy Central Darebin Council has become a leader in this space in the last term with progressive Independents and Greens advocating for strong reform in our community.
On the 3 December 2018 Council endorsed the Darebin Electronic Gaming Machine Policy 2018-2022 and Action Plan. The policy seeks to make the Darebin community free of the harm associated with Electronic Gaming Machines (pokies), with over $80 million lost in EGM gambling in Darebin every year. EGM gambling is a major driver of household debt, family breakdown and there is now consistent evidence that gambling is a contributing factor to family violence.
The work done to date has already had significant results. Data from the Victorian Commission for Gaming and Liquor Regulation shows for the six months between 1 July and 31 December 2019 there was a $2.6 million decrease in the amount of money lost on electronic gaming machines (EGMs) in Darebin than over the same period the previous year. This was the largest decrease out of all Victorian local government areas.
If elected I will work with other Councillors to ensure this commitment is maintained and progressed for the benefit of our community and advocate for legislative reform at State and Federal levels as well. As a Greens candidate, I can make this commitment because we as a party do not take donations from the gambling industry.
Louise Kenney-Shen North Central To not allow future poker machine on Council land, and plan and support the transition away from gambling use by existing venues.
I have seen firsthand the harm that gambling can cause, through close friends and an intimate partner's addictions. It is important to offer adequate support for those in these situations and to reduce gambling harm through education and minimisation of exposure. It is important to assist sporting clubs and venues who have pokies to transition to other means of revenue in order to minimise harm and retain our clubs.
Monique Keel North Central I am very familiar with the Alliance's advocacy having worked with Darebin Council and other LGAs in the North whilst at Women's Health in the North on a project looking at the link between Gambling and Family Violence. I would like to see the end of poker machines in Victoria and will support the Alliance's suggested local council initiatives including supporting gambling free public space, stopping the expansion of poker machine and having gambling free sports. If elected I will continue to Darebin's strong stance against poker machines.  
Jessica Sullivan North Central I support all of them. I would support a ban future installations of poker machines in Darebin and I would support a review of current licences. These matters may be fought over with the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation, but I'm up for that fight.
At a level where Local Council does have the final say: I would support a ban on hosting Council events at venues with poker machines and I would support making it a condition that events seeking Council support/funding are not held at such venues.
Further, I would support blocking access to Council grants for venues and businesses that derive income from gambling, unless the grant is to directly assist them in divesting of poker machines and other gambling products.
Most importantly I would increase local services available (counselling, group sessions and financial counselling etc.) to those harmed by gambling, and I would tie this in with my Covid-19 recovery plan because I am concerned that the extended period of financial and emotional stress that the pandemic has caused will have driven more people towards gambling.
Dave Lee North East I would advocate for all the local government asks including gambling-free public spaces, gambling-free community sports and stopping expansion of gambling in Darebin.
Adam Cursio North East Pass
Steven Chang North East The crux of what I stand for as a candidate is People Before Profit. I, and all Victorian Socialists candidates, are against the gambling industry's twisted influence on our communities. I'm in favour of tough new restrictions on gaming machines. I will vote against applications to open new gambling venues, and place penalties on organisations/venues that support gambling (e.g. exclude them from rate discounts). Equally importantly, I support opening new green spaces and inclusive public community programs such as Libraries After Dark which will provide alternative avenues to harmful gambling habits. 
Adam Bottomley North West I agree. I'm for abolishing of drastically reducing poker machines because, as a mental health and disability worker, I've seen how they prey on vulnerable people.
Carmen Lahiff-Jenkins North West EGMs should be removed from all venues due to their deceptive nature, the funds do not match up to the expenditure on social services. Reverse Gambling Regulation Amendment (Gaming Machine Arrangements) Act 2017 that provides a 20-year entitlement for clubs and hotels from 2022. Maintain harm reduction rules during the removal process of all machines - not in public areas etc. remove signs that allude to Pokies location, on lost machines how much money lost. Minimise comfort of environments. Reduce maximum daily trading hours of poker machine venues, and the density of poker machines per electorate, no free promotions such as alcohol.  Reduced maximum poker machine bet per spin from $5 to $1, Daily maximum EFTPOS withdrawal limit of $100; Incentives to buyback machines could be offset by the reduction in costs of support services (which outweighs government revenue). Long term planning to decouple the Victorian government from poker machine revenue, with a focus on sporting clubs.
When regulations are not complied with, then penalties should be scaled using percentages to the size of venue and amount of machines. 
I believe we should enforce transparency of the lobbying activities of pokies providers and their influence on government.
Gaetano GRECO North West Council's having more say over gaming venues.
SOFIA KOTANIDIS North West Council to provide alternative venue/activities for residents who frequent gambling places - such as Intercultural Hub - a drop in place to catch up, to get a cup of coffee, to feel connected to others - just as when they go to the pokies to feel connected. Council to provide organised and casual programs for residents to attend.
To decrease number of machines and reduce venue opening hours.
Council to offer assistance/advice to those residents who have problems with gambling
Alec Wilmot North West My position on poker machine policy is that any reduction in poker machines in our city is a net good for the community. Besides being a garish public presence, they draw money directly from the pockets of residents with no material return for the community at large. They engender gambling addiction and are usually combined with easy access to alcohol. I strongly support Darebin council's historically strict attitude towards the gambling industry. 
Liam Ward South Agree
Chiara Lawry South I support the policies in the Candidate Information Pack 
Ross Dabscheck South Central Poker machine numbers, hours of operation, and limits to how much money can be fed in to a machine in any given hour must be tightly regulated and monitored.
The machines are designed to be addictive, so safeguards are imperative to protect people vulnerable to such an addiction from having the potential of ruining their financial situation. If not restricted by tight regulation, damage to many individuals and the larger community is inevitable.
It is our duty as a community to help protect our citizens.
Susan Rennie South Central I am proud to have been part of a council which has Australia's toughest gambling harm prevention policy. I will continue to support all measures to reform the gambling industry and prevent further harm.
Roz Ward South Central Agree
Peter Willis South Central I support the policies in the Information pack.
Harriet de Kok South Central Darebin Council has become a leader in this space in the last term, with the progressive Greens-led council of Independents and Greens advocating for strong reform in our community.
On the 3 December 2018, Council endorsed the Darebin Electronic Gaming Machine Policy 2018-2022 and Action Plan. The policy seeks to make the Darebin community free of the harm associated with Electronic Gaming Machines (pokies), with over $80 million lost in EGM gambling in Darebin every year. EGM gambling is a major driver of household debt, family breakdown and there is now consistent evidence that gambling is a contributing factor to family violence.
The work done to date has already had significant results. Data from the Victorian Commission for Gaming and Liquor Regulation shows for the six months between 1 July and 31 December 2019 there was a $2.6 million decrease in the amount of money lost on electronic gaming machines (EGMs) in Darebin than over the same period the previous year. This was the largest decrease out of all Victorian local government areas.
As your councillor, I will work with other Councillors to ensure this commitment is maintained and progressed for the benefit of our community and advocate for legislative reform at State and Federal levels as well. As a Greens candidate, I can make this commitment because we as a party do not take donations from the gambling industry.
Kathy Zisiadis South Central Reduce the opening Hours for Poker Machines Venues.
Agapi Pashos South Central I support all of your poicies.I believe that the number of pokies should be reduced and slowly disappear.There is nothing 'responsible ' about gambling ,so I believe that must go 
Ash Verma South Central All the policies I can't choose one as they are all need to be in place to be able to achieve the results. We must act and have more accountability , we must spread more harm but most of all we may also need to understand what makes it so accessible to the people and what makes the vulnerable that some of the people call it their first home, we must provide an alternative as well. Govt is looking for collecting revenue but it should not be at the cost.
Jess Lenehan South East Poker machines a a major problem for working class people. They redistribute an enormous amount of money from the vulnerable to the wealthy. Shut them down. 
Julie O'Brien South East Darebin Council has become a leader in this space in the last term with progressive Independents and Greens advocating for strong reform in our community.
On the 3 December 2018 Council endorsed the Darebin Electronic Gaming Machine Policy 2018-2022 and Action Plan. The policy seeks to make the Darebin community free of the harm associated with Electronic Gaming Machines (pokies), with over $80 million lost in EGM gambling in Darebin every year. EGM gambling is a major driver of household debt, family breakdown and there is now consistent evidence that gambling is a contributing factor to family violence.
The work done to date has already had significant results. Data from the Victorian Commission for Gaming and Liquor Regulation shows for the six months between 1 July and 31 December 2019 there was a $2.6 million decrease in the amount of money lost on electronic gaming machines (EGMs) in Darebin than over the same period the previous year. This was the largest decrease out of all Victorian local government areas.
If elected I will work with other Councillors to ensure this commitment is maintained and progressed for the benefit of our community and advocate for legislative reform at State and Federal levels as well. As a Greens candidate, I can make this commitment because as a party, we do not take donations from the gambling industry.
Zac Galbally South Ward One of the immediate actions must be a promise to not allow future poker machines on Council land. The existing harm of poker machines is already too great and this will be an important step to minimising further harm to our neighbours.
Tom Hannan South Ward Darebin Council has become a leader in this space in the last term with progressive Independents and Greens advocating for strong reform in our community.
On the 3 December 2018 Council endorsed the Darebin Electronic Gaming Machine Policy 2018-2022 and Action Plan. The policy seeks to make the Darebin community free of the harm associated with Electronic Gaming Machines (pokies), with over $80 million lost in EGM gambling in Darebin every year. EGM gambling is a major driver of household debt, family breakdown and there is now consistent evidence that gambling is a contributing factor to family violence.
The work done to date has already had significant results. Data from the Victorian Commission for Gaming and Liquor Regulation shows for the six months between 1 July and 31 December 2019 there was a $2.6 million decrease in the amount of money lost on electronic gaming machines (EGMs) in Darebin than over the same period the previous year. This was the largest decrease out of all Victorian local government areas.
If elected I will work with other Councillors to ensure this commitment is maintained and progressed for the benefit of our community and advocate for legislative reform at State and Federal levels as well. As a Greens candidate, I can make this commitment because we as a party do not take donations from the gambling industry.
Hugh Morris-Dalton South Ward Think Council advocacy on stopping the expansion of gambling in our suburbs & towns is extremely important.
Nick McCubbin South Ward I've not seen your pack, but I am 100% anti gambling!!!
George Kanjere West I support all means to reduce harm done by pokies. It is a parasitic industry and any measures to reduce the ability of the pokies industry to make money off vulnerable people I support.
Susanne Newton West I am proud Darebin has the strongest anti-gambling policy in the state, which has led to the biggest reduction in pokies losses in the state: “Data from the Victorian Commission for Gaming and Liquor Regulation shows for the six months between 1 July and 31 December 2019 there was a $2.6 million decrease in the amount of money lost on electronic gaming machines (EGMs) in Darebin than over the same period the previous year. This was the largest decrease out of all Victorian local government areas.
I support Darebin’s strong stance on reducing gambling harm and will continue this work if I am successful in being re-elected for a second term.  http://www.darebin.vic.gov.au/Your-Council/Talk-to-us/Media-Centre?a=BDFAFCFB1495443B9631A9149CC75A1F#Pokies-losses-down-in-Darebin 
Isabel Jackson West Of the three local government, I believe the first one will have greatest influence. As with alcohol and smoking free zones, it reduces the normative practice of gambling. It would also preclude events sponsored by gambling, which would flow on to the second point. There is the potential for lost revenue from decreased gambling sponsorship could be made up by increased attendance or other support not compatible with gambling.