Regulator knocked back shopping centre pokies 20 years ago

THE state’s gaming machine regulator knocked back an application for pokies at Indooroopilly Shopping Centre’s Pig N Whistle pub in 1998, a local MP says.

A letter from David Ford, the then executive director, read: “ … I would note that a key element of the Commission’s decision regarding the application by Pullenvale Estates (owner of the Pig N Whistle franchise) related to the fact that Indooroopilly Shoppingtown is a major regional shopping centre.

Accordingly, it is difficult to see how any new application for the same premises would be successful.’’

Businessman Godfrey Mantle’s Mantle Group has applied to install poker machines at its Pig N Whistle restaurant at Indooroopilly Shopping Centre.

David Ford is now Commissioner for Liquor and Gaming and thus the sole decision maker on the Pig n Whistle’s current application for 45 pokies.

Mr Berkman claimed the “system in Queensland is stacked in favour of pokies, so this historical decision is a real benchmark’’.

“The pokies lobby has donated big bucks to Labor and the LNP, and in return the protections for local communities have been eroded over the years,’’ he said.

Greens MP Michael Berkman. Picture: Annette Dew

“I have written to Mr Ford to encourage him to stand by his previous words and reject this (new) application.

“Pokies are a gold mine for their super-wealthy owners, but they don’t help local people.

“Here in Indro, we’re trying to show that organised people can beat organised money.

“I’m incredibly grateful to the hundreds of locals who have joined our campaign against the pokies lobby. If we get a win it’s all thanks to them.’’

 

Brendan O'Malley, Westside News, 11 September 2018

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