Common sense prevails on extension to gambling hours

Community pressure and common sense has seen Australia Liquor Holdings (ALH) withdraw its application to extend their poker machine licence at The Wharf Tavern in Mooloolaba.

Federal Member for Fisher, Andrew Wallace MP, who has led a strong campaign against a potential Casino license on the Sunshine Coast, has joined the community in welcoming this announcement.

“My strong opposition to any increase in poker machines on the Sunshine Coast is well known. I believe that they are a scourge on our society. They bring misery to families and communities and I can’t support any argument calling for additional machines on the Sunshine Coast.” Mr Wallace said.

“The Mooloolaba community rightly identified that an extension of The Wharf Tavern’s gaming licence would have a negative impact on the lifestyle of those who live and operate businesses in the surrounding area. I supported their objections to this application and I am pleased to see that they have been successful.”

“Just today in the Courier Mail, we have learnt that the Moreton Bay region has recorded the second highest takings per poker machine in Queensland, with each machine making $5,743 in December alone. We know that poker machine use is highest in communities who can least afford to gamble away their weekly wage and yet we continue to see an increase in poker machines across the state.

“Gambling of any kind, whether it be at a casino table or a poker machine, has the ability to cause harm to individuals, families and the wider community. People with gambling addictions often face a downward spiral with increased family breakdowns, homelessness, bankruptcy, poor mental health, criminal activity and even suicide.”

“The Wharf complex in Mooloolaba has recently undergone upgrades which have delivered a vibrant family friendly dining and entertainment precinct. The last thing we need in the re-development of this iconic Sunshine Coast site is an increase in access to poker machines. I think ALH made the right call to walk away from this application and I look forward to understanding more about what they have planned as an alternative.” he said.

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Authorised by Andrew Wallace MP, Liberal National Party, 11/10 Lake Kawana Blvd, Bokarina, QLD, 4575