Council to appeal Wallan pokies decision

Mitchell Shire Council will appeal the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) decision to approve an extra 20 poker machines at Hogan’s Hotel in Wallan.

The Commission released reasons for its decision to approve the additional 20 poker machines on 24 May.

Under the Gambling Regulation Act, Council can appeal the VCGLR decision by making an application for review to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

Council held a special confidential meeting on Tuesday night and is now preparing to lodge an appeal with VCAT. If a review at VCAT occurs, the Tribunal will consider all evidence and submissions afresh to make its own decision on the merits of the application.

If you or someone you know is affected by gambling, help is available. Visit Gambling Help Online or phone 1800 858 858.

As stated by Mitchell Shire Mayor Councillor Bill Chisholm

Many people in our community have expressed anger, concern and disappointment about the Commission’s decision.

We have also heard strong concerns from many organisations and service providers involved in assisting people who are experiencing gambling harm.

This Council is concerned about the negative effects of gambling harm in our community, particularly in a growth area with areas of significant social disadvantage.

Council has a legislated duty of care to protect and promote the health and wellbeing of our community. This is also supported through Council’s Electronic Gaming Machine Policy, Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan and Advocacy Priorities.

While there is no guarantee of success from the appeal, it is important to take action now and do our part to protect the long-term wellbeing of our community into the future.

/Public Release. View in full here.