Camperdown Bowlo to become pokie free

The Greens on Marrickville Council have successfully moved to ban pokies at Camperdown Bowling Club. Marrickville Council is responsible for managing or licencing activities at the Camperdown Bowling Club and surrounding areas.

The Greens have also called for a report on the use of poker machines and gambling in Council owned and controlled venues, which will be debated at an upcoming Council meeting.

Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore, said  “Camperdown Bowling Club is a wonderful little venue, but it has struggled over the years.

“We are currently going through an Expression of Interest process to find a licencee who can revive the Camperdown Bowling Club, with better food, recreation activities and social events.

“I am very proud that Council has now confirmed it will be moving to find a licencee who will revive the Club without poker machines, she said.

Clr Ellsmore said, “Australians spend nearly $1 billions a year on pokies and three quarters of people who have a series problem with gambling are pokie players. One in six people who play the pokies regularly have a serious addiction.

“Petersham Bowling Club is an example of a great, popular Club which has removed poker machines. With the support of committed local residents it has moved from strength to strength.

“It demonstrates the viability and demand for genuine community venues, especially in our local area which has a growing number of young families. It is also a regular venue for local musicians.

“Camperdown Bowling Club one of the few family friendly venues in our area, and it has great unrealised potential. Pokies should not, and will not, be part of that future,” said Clr Ellsmore.

Following a Greens Notice of Motion about gambling in other Council owned or controlled venues (as below), Council will also reconsider its policy in relation to allowing pokies and gambling at other Council controlled venues at an upcoming meeting.

Media contact:            Greens Clr Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213

C0613 Item 15   Clr Ellsmore


16 June 2013 Council meeting

Debated THAT Council:
1.    affirms its commitment to reducing problem gambling in the Local Government Area;
2.    notes that Australians spend nearly $12 billion a year on poker machines and three quarters of people who have a serious problem with gambling are pokie players;
3.    commits to make it a condition of leasing or hiring Council owned or controlled venues that no poker machine gambling be undertaken at those venues, including Camperdown Bowling Club; and
4.    commits in principle to make it a condition of leasing or hiring Council owned or controlled venues that no other gambling be undertaken at Council owned or controlled venues, except where the gambling activity will

and AGREED THAT the matter be considered at the next Council meeting with a further report.


  • I get that no pokies is positive but there is still no one operating the venue. It has sat idle and falling into disrepair for too long now. What a waste! It seems it would be better to have a limited number of pokies and have the facility being used than what is currently happening.

    • Hi Justin, Thanks for your post. Please be reassured that work has been underway for some time on Camperdown Bowlo and there should be an announcement this week or next confirming the organisation that Council has partnered with to fix up and reopen the venue – happily without pokies. Camperdown Bowlo is a great space, but it needs a lot of work both inside and out, to fix it up so it can re-open as a more family friendly and successful venue. I apologise for the length of time between updates – these things take an extraordinarily long time… Some of the actions Council has completed to get us to this point include: a public consultation about the future of the site, an expression of interest for new managers, selection of a not-for-profit manager with a plan to rejuvenate the space, soil testing to see if new uses like a small community garden are possible (ie keeping one of the two greens for bowling and changing the use of the other) and organising a partnership with an artists’ organisation to allow local artists to use the space while all the work is going on. Happy to discuss in more detail if you want to give me a call on the phone, and I can put you in contact with the Council staff leading the project. Regards, Sylvie Ellsmore, Greens Councillor 0403 977 213

  • Hi Sylvie

    6 months on and I can’t find any update? Camperdown Bowlo is still just sitting there… Wasting away…


    • 2015 update – This week there are some targeted info sessions about the Camperdown Bowlo – see details below – being held in Canterbury. Local residents are welcome to register and attend. See the details below.

      Please note that these sessions are NOT organised by Marrickville Council. They are organised by the “Camperdown Project Pty Ltd”, a subsiduary of the Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL Club.

      Following an expression of interest process, the “Camperdown Project Pty Ltd” is the organisation that Marrickville Council has invited to put in a DA for the Camperdown Bowlo.

      Marrickville Council selected this group because it best fit the EOI criteria, which was (in summary) for: a not-for-profit organisation, with a realistic vision for a rejuvenated community venue, and a business model which would ensure the viability of the site without poker machines.

      The Camperdown Project Pty Ltd’s vision is “to ensure that it becomes a much-needed community space incorporating meeting spaces for community groups, indoor and outdoor event spaces, a casual children’s play area, a vibrant food and beverage operation, and the conversion of the existing greens into a mixed-use community space including an urban farm concept (ie community garden).”

      From a Marrickville Council point of view the next step is for the “Camperdown Project Pty Ltd” to put in their DA outlining their plans in greater detail, so Council can consider whether to approve the development and with what conditions. This is anticipated to happen later in the year. Council will stay at arms length from the community consultation process being conducted by “Camperdown Project Pty Ltd” – as it now the prospective developer whose application Council will need to assess when it comes in.

      It is painfully slow process but this is always the case with large projects like this. In the meantime to ensure the building is being used Council has arranged for it to be used as a rehearsal space for local artists. The space has been successfully used this way for most of 2014.

      Importantly too please note – this is community land and there are no plans to convert to residential. Canterbury Council is currently considering rezoning the land on which the Canterburty Bowlo used to operate for residential – but I have heard nothing of any moves to do this in Camperdown and any moves to do so would be strongly resisted by the Greens.

      I’ll circulate more updates as they come through



      Clr Sylvie Ellsmore (Grns) | Wali/ North Ward Marrickville Council, 2-14 Fisher Street Petersham NSW 2049
      P: 0403 977 213 (Mon-Fri) | E:


      RSVPs for Camperdown Project ‘Have Your Say’ Days Now Open

      Locals invited to provide input on old Camperdown Bowling Club site

      CAMPERDOWN, Monday 12 January 2015 – Camperdown Project Pty Ltd has confirmed that it is acting on its commitment to keep locals informed about the project to revitalise the former Camperdown Bowling Club at 31a Mallett Street.

      “This is the start of what we hope will be a positive and collaborative process with interested residents,” said Camperdown Project Pty Ltd’s spokesperson and chief executive officer of Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL Club, Dean Thomas.

      “We’re looking forward to sharing our ideas and we are keen to listen to the community’s input into our vision for the site. Once we have learned of residents’ hopes and concerns we will work closely with our architect to incorporate viable suggestions into the plans that will be submitted for council approval later this year.”

      Camperdown Project has scheduled 9 discussion sessions over 3 days – from Wednesday February 4 to Friday February 6 – at 11am, 3pm and 6pm. The meetings will be held at the CHP School of Hospitality Room within the Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL Club, on the corner of Canterbury Rd and Crinan St at 20-26 Canterbury Rd, Hurlstone Park. Each discussion will be for up to 15 people to ensure ample time to hear from participants. Registration is therefore mandatory to ensure that no session is oversubscribed

      Free parking is available on site and the club is easily accessible by public transport.

      Interested participants can nominate their preferred session times by emailing Camperdown Project encourages early responses to ensure that residents are able to participate at their preferred time.

      People who wish to be kept updated with Camperdown Project Pty Ltd news can subscribe to an e-newsletter at

      For media inquiries, please contact Ella Legg on 0410 335 646 or email

      About Camperdown Project

      Camperdown Project Pty Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL Club. The confirmation that it had signed a lease agreement with Marrickville Council for the former Camperdown Bowling Club site at 31a Mallett St, Camperdown was made in July 2014. On that occasion Camperdown Project Pty Ltd confirmed that it would be allocating approximately $1 million towards the revitalisation of the former bowling club site to reinvigorate and enhance Mallett St and the Camperdown Park precinct.

      Subject to approval, the company’s vision for the site is to ensure that it becomes a much-needed community space incorporating meeting spaces for community groups, indoor and outdoor event spaces, a casual children’s play area, a vibrant food and beverage operation, and the conversion of the existing greens into a mixed-use community space including an urban farm concept.

    • PS Thanks for the question Ryan. It reminded me to follow up what info was out there and to post an update! xx Sylvie

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s