Things just got (more) interesting. At the time of writing, Federal Parliament remains in the twilight zone. While we don’t know who will form government or how, we do know that NXT party, Wilkie and Greens party all have strong policy on gambling reform, and will have an significant role in both the lower and upper houses of parliament.
For now, we have Tim Costello working the phone, but stayed tuned for more as the count continues . . .
Towards the close of the financial year, we had Moreland, Monash and Melbourne City Councils sign up as top-tier financial partners of the Alliance. Without the support of these councils, the Alliance would simply not be able to continue our work. In addition, Darebin Yarra ranges and Hobsons Bay councils have also made financial contributions, thanks so much for your support.
It’s never too late to become a financial member, just send our Chair Geoff Lake an email if you’d like to know more.
The campaign to shift the AFL clubs on their poker machines has heated up, with Collingwood making a commitment in a funding agreement with Melbourne City Council to wean itself off poker machines - and then exposed for secretly trying to buy more at the same time!
We’ve kept the pressure up with petitions, fan letters to their club, this great video, volunteers signing up hundreds of AFL fans at the MCG and a steady stream of supportive media coverage in Herald Sun. Our next event is at the MCG this Sunday the 10th, and on the 20th August we’ll be taking the AFL campaign to Adelaide where the pokie-free Crows wil take on pokie’d Port Adelaide
If your networks, stakeholders or members would be interested in getting more involved, we have a range of options from petitioning you local club to volunteering at a match. Let me know if you’re interested and we can develop some great activities for you.
Political donations reform
Dr Charles Livingstone completed the first round of in depth research into political donations made by the poker machine clubs, to politicians and parties. The full report, article in the conversation and write up in the Melbourne Age and Sydney Morning Herald were used to launch this petition and this action, where supporters where able to write a personal letter to all the candidates in their electorate
This line of campaigning doesn’t stop here though. With Australia’s transparency and restrictions on political donations a long way behind that of the US, there’s interest in other issue areas such as tobacco control alcohol and climate change. This won't be the last time you here about this issue.
From a strategy point of view working along these lines removes a key hurdle to reform, and also reduces the social license of the poker machine industry
Maurice Blackburn are busy working on the case, and we still anticipate filing somewhere around July - August. We’ll be updating you as we get closer
We’re providing some support for community members organising opposition to applications for more poker machines in their community. The Commercial Hotel has lodged an application for more machines, and we’ve provided the community with some advice and tools to make objections
If you have groups or stakeholders in an area where a venue wants more machines, let us know, and we’ll work with you to provide some support.
New Victorian state data spreadsheet
The fantastic work of Hayden Brown, social planner at the City of Greater Dandenong is available in this great spreadsheet of Victorian poker machine data. Really easy to use, this spreadsheet takes the raw data from the Victorian State Government and packages it up into great facts, specific to each council
New state Minister
In Victoria, the new Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation is Ms Marlene Kairouz. It’s early days but at least one Alliance member organisation has had a brief, introductory meeting with the Minister. We’ll be seeking a meeting with the Minister so if you or or organisation also has a request in, get in touch so we can coordinate our asks
Ka-ching educational package
The award winning documentary “Ka-ching! Pokie nation” continues to have a big impact. This month the Unitarian Church of SA passed poluicy to ban investments in any gambling company after the film stimulated debate about what they could do to help.
The documentary makers are releasing the film in some additional kits for different audiences. An educational pack has been produced, with the DVD and workshop materials that can be used as part of ongoing staff and stakeholder education programs. For organisations that want to use the film repeatadly and in different locations, this is for you! Click here more more information.
The film is also due to be released on pay-per view platforms soon, allowing anyone to download and watch the film from their computer or smart TV
In the news
2 June, ABV TV 7:30 report
3 June, Herald Sun
4 June, Sydney Morning Herald
5 June, Greater Dandenong Leader
8 June, Herald Sun
16 June, Herald Sun
21 June, Herald Sun
27 June, Herald Sun
28 June, Herald Sun
28 June, Melbourne Age and Sydney Morning Herald
29 June, Herald Sun
We have a great bunch of volunteers who do everything from signing up fans at the MCG, making banners, crucial admin support, calling other volunteers, co-editing our social media, organising film screenings and much more.
If your organisation has volunteers that would like to get involved, or if you need volunteers for your organisations work on gambling reform, just get in touch and we can figure out what will work best for you.