Pokie policy on the map

COUNCILLOR Glenn Milne wants Mildura Council to put a gaming machine policy back on the agenda after a Melbourne council voted to pull support for sporting clubs and community groups which operate the machines. 

Councillors at the City of Darebin backed the new policy, which would also stop the council from providing  grounds or venues to groups that operate poker machines. 

“We know gambling is a major driver of household debt and contributor to family violence,” Mayor Susan Rennie said. 

“We also know that for many people, sporting clubs and community groups in Darebin it is difficult to break the link to electronic gaming machines, that’s why we are bringing this policy in.”

Cr Milne called for Mildura Council to develop its own gaming machine policy earlier this year, with councillors voting in August to develop a draft gambling harm minimisation paper for review at a future meeting.

“(Poker machines) are recognised as a problem and we’ve got to look at how that affects our community,” he said yesterday.

While Cr Milne stopped short of throwing his support behind City of Darebin’s move, he said Mildura’s policy “should consider all options”.

“I think (City of Darebin) have given it some thought and talked to their community – a lot of the policies at Darebin suit their community,” he said.

“We have to act sensibly, consider our community and find out how they feel about it.” 

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