POKIE FREE CAMPERDOWN BOWLO ONE STEP CLOSER

Media release

Petersham-Newtown-Marrickville Greens           26 August 2014

The Greens on Marrickville Council have welcomed the announcement this week that the contracts have been signed for a new manager of the Camperdown Bowling Club site. The new manager will be ‘Camperdown Project Pty Ltd’, a subsidiary of Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL Club Pty Ltd. The terms of the contract will see a ten year lease and $1 million investment in the rejuvenation of the club building and community facilities, with no poker machines.

The Greens on Marrickville Council successfully moved to ban pokies at Camperdown Bowling Club in July last year. A copy of the motion passed by Council is below.

Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore said “Camperdown Bowling Club is a wonderful little venue, but it has struggled over recent years. The former club folded and the building and two bowling greens require significant upgrades before they can become usable again.

“After an extensive tender process Council has been able to secure a licencee who can upgrade and re-open the Camperdown Bowling Club, with better food, recreation activities, social events, and rejuvenation of at least one of the bowling greens. And, importantly, no poker machines.

Clr Ellsmore said, “Petersham Bowling Club is another example of a great, popular Club in our local area which has removed poker machines. It is a community run venue which demonstrates the viability and demand for genuine community venues without gambling, especially in our local area which has a growing number of young families,” she said. In recent years Petersham Bowling Club has also become a strong live music venue.

In addition to the ban on pokies, the Greens on Marrickville Council also pushed for strong conditions for family friendly facilities to be included in the Camperdown Bowling Club site upgrade, and the use of the Club space by artists while the upgrade works are undertaken.

While the contract negotiations were underway ‘Brand X’ studios was engaged to use the space as a dance/ theatre rehearsal space. They will continue to use the space until November 2014, with the Club rejuvenation works due to be completed and the Club re-opened proposed for next year.

Despite contracts being signed, several approvals for the upgrade of the Bowling Club are still required. This includes Development Approval (DA) – with the DA to be publicly notified so that residents will have an opportunity to make submissions on the proposal, formal lease approval by the Minister for Primary Industry and a liquor licence being granted by the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing.

At the State level, NSW Greens MP John Kaye MLC has been campaigning for a freeze on poker machine licences. A recent NSW Parliamentary Inquiry, of which Dr Kaye was a member, found:

“Electronic gaming machines (EGMs) dominate the New South Wales gambling market. In 2012-2013, New South Wales gaming machine players lost $5.25 billion, while total losses on all gambling products amounted to $7.92 billion. Consistent with market share, the majority of people seeking treatment for problem gambling are doing so for harms associated with EGMs.”

The NSW Parliamentary report was released on 15 August and found that people living in low socio-economic areas are the hardest hit by problem gambling. For more information see: http://johnkaye.org.au/gambling-inquiry-warns-of-risks-from-high-poker-machine-density-on-low-socio-economic-areas/

Residents who would like to be kept updated on the progress of the proposed Camperdown development can go to http://www.camperdownproject.info.

For more information about Brand X and access to the space for artists visit http://www.brandx.org.au/camperdown-bowling-club/

Local media contact:          Greens Clr Sylvie Ellsmore 0403 977 213

MARRICKVILLE COUNCIL

NOTICE OF MOTION: POKER MACHINES IN COUNCIL OWNED OR CONTROLLED VENUES

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.

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