16 January 2023

”The City of Monash’s anti-gambling policy, believed to be the first of its kind in Australia, is facing coordinated opposition”, reports The Guardian. Of course it is, because pokie venues took about $85 million from victims in Monash last year. “According to the policy, sports clubs that continue to display the logos of sponsors that have gambling machines will eventually be banned from council grounds and clubhouses. At the moment, these logos appear on some jerseys, websites, newsletters and billboards around council grounds. City of Monash mayor, Tina Samardzija, said local governments should ‘absolutely’ play a bigger role in preventing gambling harm and dismissed claims that councils should not be involved in social policy. ‘Our community is very concerned about young people being exposed to gambling,’ Samardzija said. ‘In my view, there is nothing that’s more of a local government issue than kids going to play sport at their local clubs and being exposed to a message that gambling is normal.’” The policy is being phased in over four years to make sure clubs can adjust to the new requirements. It’s a great example of how local councils can show leadership on important issues.