Friday, 12 March 2010

The Beach Hotel's Flawed Petition

Last night Surf Coast Council heard submissions about the application of The Beach Hotel to introduce pokie gambling to the suburban community of Jan Juc. The applicant presented a petition with an impressive number of signatories. The problem with the petition was that there was no mention on it that the redevelopment signatories were supporting involved the introduction of pokie gambling to Jan Juc. This means that the applicant's petition is of no value to measure community views about the main issue before Council.

There were other flaws.

Cr Rose Hodge pointed out that the proposed smoking balconies would overlook homes. At the least, this would create a noise nuisance for the neighbourhood.

The inadequacy of the proposed parking was raised. If the function rooms were being utilised on a night where the pub was traditionally well patronised, there would not be enough spaces. This did not even take into account any extra people at The Beach Hotel who were there to gamble on the pokies. The applicant was asked where he expected people to park.

The applicant offered to lop a whole floor off the development. One wonders if this would effect the motel rooms, the function rooms or the size of the restaurant. No plans were presented that showed what the development would look like with a floor lopped off. It was discussed that Council could only consider the plans before it.

Some time ago, Surf Coast Shire commissioned and accepted a report relating to its Gaming Policy Framework. If you would like a copy, please email me at PokieWatch@yahoo.com and I will be happy to send one to you.

As a part of that report, an audit of every township was conducted to clearly set out where gaming would be discouraged in Surf Coast Shire. Maps were created. Here's the map created for Jan Juc;

The Beach Hotel is within the area marked as a "Discouraged Area".

The words that appear in bold type in the policy recommendations are placed under the heading of "Detailed location criteria".
"Gaming machines should be located in venues which are a destination in their own right. This is defined as locations where gaming venues will not be integrated with or adjacent to shops, major transport interchanges, foreshore activity areas and key community facilities"
Pokie gambling at The Beach Hotel would be located adjacent to shops, a foreshore activity area and key community facilities. It could not be considered a destination in its own right. Without even beginning to consider its effect on the well being of the Jan Juc community; the application to introduce the harmful adults only entertainment that is pokie gambling must be rejected.

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