The ACT Greens are intent on wiping out community clubs and the people they employ, picking arbitrary caps on the number of gaming machines in the Territory and all while touting their ostensible support for the sector.
“In the plan released today, The Greens are breaking their previous policy commitment to reduce the number of poker machine licences in Canberra to 3,500 – now going further to 3,000, yet have offered no evidence of how they reached this number or any positive impact it will have if achieved,” ClubsACT Chief Executive Gwyn Rees said.
“Clubs have worked hard to diversify their businesses and reach the goal set of less than 15 machines per 1,000 people.
“ACT clubs thought they had done the heavy lifting expected of them this political term, but it seems every time we reach the top of the mountain, The Greens roll the boulder back down.
“Shifting the goalposts is hugely damaging as it denies clubs any certainty in operation. They cannot budget or plan as they never know when or how they will be ordered to change their business model.
“Yet, this plan, particularly on the back of the hardships caused by COVID, will drive many clubs to bankruptcy and certainly impact on their ability to provide free, subsidised and financial support to local sporting and community organisations.
“It will cost many hundreds of jobs.
“In the ACT, gaming revenues have declined in real terms by nearly 60% over a 15 year period. More than 15 clubs have closed, five in this parliamentary term.
“If Minister Rattenbury truly believes there is a river of gold, I would suggest it will be flowing through Queanbeyan.
“Perhaps the most concerning aspect is the suggestion The Greens have devised this plan in consultation with the community clubs sector. As truth in political advertising becomes a key focus for voters, I am surprised the Greens are saying they have consulted because they haven’t.
“In 2016, the Greens also announced policy that was meritorious including relief from our very high water charges and liquor licence fees. Those policies were never delivered.
For media enquiries please contact:
Gwyn Rees, ClubsACT
0410 902 982
Gwyn Rees is the CEO of ClubsACT