Casino showdown set for public debate
WHETHER or not a casino should be an element of a future resort development on the Sunshine Coast would be up for debate at a town-hall style community meeting being planned by Fisher MP Andrew Wallace.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson has agreed to face the public on the issue, subject to a mutual date and an agreed format.
Mr Wallace has collected 5230 signatures to a petition saying 'no' to any push by the council to embrace a casino as part of any future development proposal.
The issue flared after the visit to the SunCentral CBD last year by a group of executives from Malaysian gambling operator NagaCorp.
"This petition demonstrates the overwhelming groundswell of public opposition to the idea of a casino in the SunCentral CBD development that has emerged since the visit of a major gambling corporation to the site last November," Mr Wallace said.
"Mayor Mark Jamieson has unfortunately responded to this grassroots community campaign by personal attacks on me, by trying to confuse the issue and by shifting the blame. However, he has not addressed any of the community's concerns or any of the evidence that demonstrates that a casino would be highly damaging to the Sunshine Coast."
He said it was time Cr Jamieson faced the public with him to discuss the issues and to listen to community concerns. Guest speakers at the meeting are expected to include University of the Sunshine Coast lecturer Neil Mellor, an accredited supervisor and clinical counsellor whose research includes problem gambling, and Dr Charles Livingstone, of Monash University, whose research covers the social impacts of electronic gambling machines.