Despite an impressive community campaign to stop it going ahead, the State government Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation has approved the Pig N Whistle's application for 45 new pokies in Indooroopilly Shopping Centre.
This is a pretty major shock, especially after 80% of residents surveyed by local volunteers said they opposed the application (and only 4% supported it). RTI documents obtained by my office also revealed that the Pig N Whistle made a practically identical application in 1998, but the proposed location is so grossly inappropriate they were rejected twice. Despite the now Commissioner for Liquor and Gaming David Ford saying at the time that " it is difficult to see how any new application for the same premises would be successful", he seems to have backflipped completely.
This community does not want 45 new pokies in our family-friendly shopping centre, next to our church, GP clinic, childcare centres, schools or bus interchange. Pokies rip billions of dollars from the pockets of everyday Queenslanders each year, but they’re a goldmine for super rich pub owners and gambling companies.
This decision shows the rules are rigged against local communities. For example, there is no requirement for the regulator to notify anyone about their decision except for the applicant. We found out about this decision completely by accident, since the head of the regulator happened to be on ABC radio about another issue.
There is no ability for the community to appeal to QCAT - only to the courts.
This decision feels like an all too familiar example of the cashed up pokies lobby getting their way. The owner of the pub, Godfrey Mantle, and his associated companies have donated more than $56,000 to Labor and the LNP since 2007.
We’re not giving up just yet, though. The community is rallying against these pokies, asking the Pig N Whistle not to go ahead with the installation and, failing that, for Indooroopilly Shopping Centre management to put an end to the plan. Sign the petition here to stop the pokies, and receive updates and information about other ways to get involved.
You can view my original submission to OLGR against this application here.
The petition on this page is now a little out of date since the approval. We can't change the exact wording please keep spreading the message by gathering signatures.
PETITION to the Pig n Whistle Indooroopilly, the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation and the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland:.
The Pig n Whistle at Indooroopilly has applied for 45 dangerous, addictive pokies. Many locals in Indooroopilly and across the Maiwar electorate have expressed strong opposition to this application, reflecting widespread concern across Queensland over gambling.
The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation is the body responsible for assessing these applications, but it’s clear that the laws in Queensland are stacked against local communities and in favour of the pokies lobby.
Pokies are an addictive, dangerous goldmine for the super wealthy which rip money away from some of most vulnerable in our community. This application from Pig n Whistle ignores the welfare of our community.
Your petitioners request that the Pig n Whistle withdraw the application for poker machines, that the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation reject any such application, and that the Legislative Assembly of Queensland put the interests of the community before those of the gambling industry.