Independent Member for Clark, Kristie Johnston, is calling on all three mayoral candidates in the upcoming Glenorchy City Council by-election to publically state their position on the removal of poker machines in pubs and clubs.
“It has been a long-held and firm position of the Glenorchy City Council that poker machines do not belong in pubs and clubs in our community, and I call on all Mayoral candidates to unequivocally commit to this position,” Ms Johnston said.
Losses from poker machines in the Glenorchy area exceed $20 million annually which equates to just under $75000 per poker machine per year, almost twice the local average wage.
“In December 2016 the Glenorchy City Council lodged a submission to the Joint Select Committee on Future Gaming Markets in Tasmania strongly endorsing the call for poker machines to be removed from pubs and clubs in Tasmania post 2023, Ms Johnston said.
“Council then reaffirmed that decision in September 2020, voting unanimously to adopt a Statement of Commitment on Gambling which seeks the removal of all electronic gaming machines from pubs and clubs due to the devastating impact on our community.
“It would be a major concern if any candidate for Mayor was to waver from this position, and I believe it would show a blatant disregard for the best interests of the people of Glenorchy.”
Ms Johnston said that she has witnessed first-hand the harm that poker machines have on individuals and families.
“I’ve seen hungry children sent to school without any lunch, or money to buy food, all because their parents had lost all their money to these terrible machines” Ms Johnston said.