Concerns over council gaming policy

While we are in the 2012 Wellington Shire Council elections I would like to take the opportunity to bring to your attention an issue relating to the operation of electronic gaming machines in Yarram.

The Commercial Hotel Motel bought 10 machines at the poker machine auction held in 2011 after gaining their operator’s licence from the VGCLR.

Upon attempting to proceed with the application for a planning permit to be issued by Wellington Shire Council, the Commercial Hotel Motel was informed that “The Commercial Hotel in Yarram is not approved to operate gaming machines and would be subject to this prohibition if it is located in a strip shopping centre as defined in the VPP.”

The Victorian Planning Provisions require a planning permit be obtained for the installation and use of gaming machines and enable councils to prohibit gaming machines in strip shopping centres in their municipality should they chose to do so.

Advice was given that if there was a concern about the impact of the decision of the Wellington Shire Council to prohibit gaming machines in strip shopping centres then the matter should be raised directly with council.

The matter was referred to Cr Rossetti.

On September 17 I applied to Wellington Shire Council to have its  planning scheme amended to remove Yarram’s commercial zone from the list of prohibited strip shopping centres where additional gaming machines can be installed. 

I am further advised that this prohibition took effect on October 18, 2006. 

I am unaware of any public consultation.