Greens plan an end to pokies

By Tate Papworth

Western suburbs MP Huong Truong says the Greens would wipe out gaming machines statewide within 10 years.

Addressing Brimbank’s pokies “scourge”, Ms Truong said the party would discard the 20-year licensing deal legislated by the state government last year.

“Under our plan, we’ll phase out the licensing system and replace it with a final six-year licence,” Ms Truong said.

“There’s a lot of advocacy around [pokies] in Brimbank, given how heavily people are being impacted.

“It’s become quite normalised and has become a scourge affecting people who can afford it the least.”

Brimbank has topped the state for gambling losses for more than 10 consecutive years. In August, a record $12.8 million went into machines across Brimbank.

Brimbank council last week held a community forum as part of Victoria’s inaugural Gambling Harm Awareness Week.

The council hopes to use information gained from the forum to help it shape a review of its Electronic Gaming Machine policy.

The council is calling for a number of reforms, including running an “ambitious, evidence-based campaign”, in partnership with the Alliance for Gambling Reform, calling for $1 maximum bets, reduced venue opening hours and fewer poker machines.