Council CEO Brett de Chastel.
Council CEO Brett de Chastel. Alan Lander

Council leading push to put the brakes on gaming

A PUSH by Noosa Council to curb poker machine problems in the community is ramping up, with a move to become the first local government in the state to join the Gambling Alliance Reform Group.

After winning Local Government Association of Queensland backing asking the state for stronger planning powers to control gaming machines, Noosa is now inviting other councils to sign up with the GARG.

"A recent issue of concern to council has been the potential for an increase in electronic gaming machines in our shire with little to no opportunity for council to appropriately and adequately assess the social and economic impacts on its local community due,” council CEO Brett de Chastel said.

"Australian's are losing $24 billion dollars a year on gambling. That's 40 per cent more per capita than any other nation on the planet and electronic gaming machines are responsible for about half of those loses with an annual spend nationally of around $12 billion.”

Mr de Chastel said in Queensland the number of gaming machines increased from 20,888 in July 2004 to 24,583 in July this year.

"The amount of money lost by players of gaming machines has also increased during this period from $68,520,536 to $93,725,270.”

These figures are based on Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation data. Councillors should have voted last night to join the national advocacy group.


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