This week in Council I took a stand against the unfair poker machine laws that I discussed in my previous post. I asked Council to support a motion calling for the repeal of the section of the Gaming Machines Act that bans councils from making decisions on these machines and received unanimous support. The motion also calls for council permits to be required before poker machines are installed, as is the case in Victoria.
The motion will now be presented to the NSW Local Government Association (LGA) conference later this year. The LGA is the peak body representing local councils in NSW and the conference is its main forum for determining policy and directions.
While the LGA has no formal legislative powers it’s proceedings are closely watched by other levels of government and if supported at the conference this motion will send a strong message that the community finds the current laws unfair and foolish. Hopefully it will give the state government or opposition the kick they need to take a principled stand and they’ll be able to start working with the Greens on a positive way forward on this socially destructive issue.