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The planned introduction of poker machines at the Pig ‘N’ Whistle pub in Indooroopilly Shopping Centre has been met with strong opposition from residents.
Developer and franchise owner Godfrey Mantle, whose Pullenvale Estates Pty Ltd ATF Mantle Family Trust owns the Pig ‘N’ Whistle, applied to the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation last March for permission to install 45 gaming machines.
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However, more than 80 per cent of locals are against the move, which has prompted the state Greens MP for Maiwar, Michael Berkman, to call for the refusal of the application.
“The millionaire business owner claimed in his application documents that the community supports his plan,” the minister said.
“Our people-powered, volunteer-run survey has given local people a voice in a system designed to keep them quiet.”
On the community’s opposition to the plans, Mr Berkman said, “For a month, Indooroopilly locals have doorknocked the suburb, collecting 225 responses.
“More than 80 per cent of Indooroopilly locals oppose this plan, and the system is so secretive that only 30 per cent had even heard about it before.”
Mr Berkman questioned the wisdom of opening a gambling venue in an area that is heavily frequented by children and families.
“Putting 45 dangerous, addictive pokies in our neighbourhood so close to the Indooroopilly Shopping Centre, the Uniting Church, the GP clinic, several schools and two childcare centres is a terrible idea,” he said.
“I have sent the results to the Queensland government regulator, and I’m calling on them to reject the application completely.
“Pokies ruin lives, but they are a $2.3 billion goldmine for the super wealthy in Queensland alone.
“We’re saying ‘not in my backyard, and not in anyone’s backyard’.”
The Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation has written to Mr Berkman and the Brisbane City Council for their views on the application.
A spokesperson said, “Once all matters have been received and considered, the Commissioner for Liquor and Gaming will make a determination on the application.”