Friday, 26 June 2009

Coles' Pokies Part 4

Last night coming home from looking at pokie pubs in Casey with a quick detour for a quality Andrew's burgers, I received a call from Robert Hadler who is General Manager, Corporate Affairs - Coles Supermarkets.Mark had passed on my matter to Mr Hadler who said that he was new on the job having started in February 2009. Mr Hadler came to Coles from the Australian Wheat Board and NAB. Click here to read an article about Mr Hadler's background.

As he undertook to do, Mr Hadler emailed me with his contact information. He indicated responsibility for community and sustainability issues. He stated that he could not promise quick or full action on all the issues I had raised but could "promise that we will listen and genuinely consider" my views.

Here's my response:

Thanks for your contact.

Rather than forward you all the emails, I suggest that you have a look at my blog where I have posted my correspondence with Wesfarmers / Coles. You will see that I wrote to Alison and Mark over 6 months ago. You will see that I wrote even earlier to Richard Goyder in November 2008 with clear requests. Since December 2008, I have been posting my concerns with other Coles' pokie practices.

All of these endeavours have received no substantive response. On the face of your email, it seems that no substantive response is forthcoming other than a consideration of my views.

If you want to talk about anything, please do not hesitate to contact me. Getting together next week is not too soon. As I wrote to Alison and Mark, it is important to note that all and any future correspondence with me should be considered as being 'on the record' notwithstanding any disclaimers you may place, particularly, on any email. I apologise again for this formal language but it is important that this process be as transparent as possible. It is my intention to publicise the process with Wesfarmers / Coles as widely as I am able.

Given the serious consequences that may have already occurred as a result on inaction on my suggestions; I believe that there is need for substantive positive steps to be made without additional delay. So that any meeting can be constructive, your early formal responses to my suggestions prior to any get together would be beneficial."
The quick response I got from Mr Hadler was to indicate that some other person would be in contact with me shortly to arrange a meeting.

The purpose of my whole endeavour is to effect positive change with respect to the presence of children in pokie venues. In the last 7 months my meeting and all my emails have had no effect. It would seem that Mr Hadler was unaware of anything I had proposed depite being on the job for over 4 months.

My thought is to take some step that will elicit action from Wesfarmers or Coles. It would seem that my best course would be to refuse any meeting unless Wesfarmers or Coles provide a written plan of the steps they intend to take. If they have no plan then there is no point in meeting.

On the other hand, if Wesfarmers / Coles are considering some positive steps, it would be simple for them to email their thoughts to me. Then, it would be great to meet with them and add whatever experience I have to make them more effective. Given the concerns expressed on this blog, signs warning about leaving children in parked cars should be erected immediately. The discontinuance of the and The Steakhouse Gang web endeavours would be a terrific second move as these web sites did not exist when I met with Mark and Alison.

While I expect the readers of this blog are very very few, any input on what I should do would be respected. By posting here, all would be able to read and consider such advice. Anonymous posts are welcome.

I won't do anything until Tuesday. Lot's to think about.


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