Canberra’s poker machine empires masquerading as community operations are slowly coalescing:
The construction union’s Tradies Clubs, the Catholics’ Southern Cross Clubs, the Hellenic Clubs, Rugby’s Vikings and the Labor Party’s Labor Clubs.
We have no doubt once all the little clubs are swallowed up the elephants will dance.
But to facilitate the process Labor’s Joy Burch has announced the littleys are being encouraged to turn their sites into housing developments.
The ACT Labor Government will provide grants of $15,000 for small Canberra clubs in the 2012-13 Budget to help them assess the viability of their sites for residential development, ACT Minister for Gaming and Racing Joy Burch announced today.
Ms Burch said that under the proposal, eligible small clubs will be able to receive a $15,000 grant to undertake an initial feasibility study to assess the viability of using some of their existing club site for housing development.
“In our conversations with the clubs we have heard that many are keen to diversify their revenue base away from gaming machine revenue,” Ms Burch said.
“For small clubs, the cost of exploring the option of developing their site can be prohibitive. This is something the clubs sector has asked the ACT Government for support on, and we have listened.
“Many of the clubs we are targeting with this scheme are in existing residential areas where there is great opportunity for medium density infill, and if clubs proceed with a residential development we will look at how else we can support them to achieve this.”
If the Labor party wasn’t so invested in this sector it would be much easier to take the intentions of the Labor Club at face value.
UPDATE 11/05/12 15:12: This comment in from Joy Burch’s office:
Hi John, just to clarify, the purpose of the clubs grants announced today isn’t to encourage smalls clubs to shut down and turn themselves into residential developments. Rather, it is to help clubs explore the opportunity of using unused parts of their sites for residential development. There is no requirement for the clubs to alter their operations, or to surrender gaming machine licences. This is something the clubs sector has sought assistance from the ACT Government for, and the Government has responded.
As ClubsACT points out (see CityNews online story)