Friday, 21 August 2009

Can We Talk About Your Pokie Business?

Neither Woolworths nor Coles/Wesfarmers like to talk about their pokie businesses. Readers of this blog will be familiar with the effort to get a substantive response from Coles since the meeting of December last year. Similarly, there has been no response to the issues I raised at the last Woolworths Annual General Meeting. Its time to discuss pokies with the ultimate decision maker for these companies.

Click here to read and listen to the issues raised at the last Woolworths Annual General Meeting.


Yesterday, draft Section 249P statements were emailed to both Woolworths and Coles/Wesfarmers. If able to obtain 100 shareholders signatures for each notice, then these companies will be effectively required to discuss their pokie business with their shareholders, their ultimate decision makers.

These notices unashamedly go further than a mere discussion about pokies. Solutions are suggested and action is called for to get them out of this business that causes Australians so much harm. Click on the image below to have a look at the draft notice for Coles/Wesfarmers: In order for the document to be legible the file is large so please be patient as it downloads.I wrote to the contacts within both organisations to ensure that there are no "technical" problems with the processing of the 249P notices and alterations may need to be made as a result. If there is no response by Wednesday, 26 August, then I will be obliged to plough on irregardless and begin the quest for 100 shareholders of each company who want to discuss their own company's conduct of their pokie business.

Finally, Mr Hadler of Coles responded to the enclosing the draft 249P notice. He indicated he was in Perth and would discuss the matters with the Wesfarmers' Company Secretary. He also stated that he was finalising a response to "earlier email and the latest information on your blog". This is frustrating. The last few blog entries highlight events at only 4 Coles' pokie pubs when PokieWatch.org has web pages on all their South Australian pokie pubs and over 60 of their Queensland pokie pubs. I recently added about 200 pictures of their venues.

The Sitemeter reports for PokieWatch.org indicate that someone from Coles Myer spent time on the PokieWatch.org web site yesterday afternoon and last night. They looked at the home page, the web pages for Club Hotel Waterford, Cleveland Tavern and two blog pages. This is not enough.

My hope is that Coles/Wesfarmers will take full advantage of the view of their vast pokie operations that PokieWatch.org affords them. There is no need for Mr Hadler, Mr Goyder or others at Coles/Wesfarmers to drive the thousands of kilometres or spend days and nights entering data.

It's all there for them, from the comfort of their desks, to base positive steps towards reducing the harm of their pokie gambling business. All they have to do is look.

I also informed Mr Hadler that I wish to run for a directorship at Wesfarmers.

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