No more pokies near social housing

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By: Lisa Lyons

Gaming machines are to be abolished within 500m walking distance from social housing or welfare services, according to an adopted planning scheme by Council last night.

This amendment will apply to all planning permit applications for electronic gaming machines in Port Phillip and will guide future planning decisions.

There is currently no policy in the Planning Scheme covering the proximity of gaming venues to public housing.

According to the Mayor, the Amendment will assist Council in implementing its overall Gambling Policy.

The aim of the Policy is to discourage the use of new gaming machines from being located in or near vulnerable communities, in particular the elderly communities.

The overall Planning Scheme Amendment will guide the Council’s decision on planning permit applications regarding the location of electronic gaming machines and all gaming venues.

This is to ensure those vunerable communities are not affected further by the close proximity of these machines to social housing or welfare services. We all realise that

problem gambling affects individuals and their families adversely, targeting those most at risk.

Amendment C88 was publicly displayed during the seven weeks in which it was reviewed by an Independent Planning Panel. They supported the proposed policy with some changes.

It will now be sent to the Minister for Planning for approval.

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