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When pokies meet developers with help from Labor

By johnboy 12 September 2012 22

Labor in the ACT has two great loves. Poker machines and real estate deals.

So it’s very exciting to see Joy Burch bring the two together along with patronage and largesse.

Nine small licensed clubs will receive grants of $15,000 each to assess the viability of their sites for residential development, ACT Minister for Gaming and Racing Joy Burch said today.

Ms Burch today announced the recipients of the ACT Government’s Small Club Site Redevelopment Support Scheme, which was funded in the recent 2012-13 Budget as part of the Government’s policy to help clubs diversify their revenue base.

“I am pleased that there has been such a positive response to this initiative, and that clubs see this as an opportunity to diversify their business models beyond the traditional source of gaming machines,” Ms Burch said.

“I am also pleased to see that many of the recipient clubs are located in existing residential areas where there are great opportunities for medium density infill, which would support another ACT Government policy objective of increasing housing supply.”

The Clubs who have been successful are:

— ACT Rugby Union Club in Barton
— Belconnen Bowling Club in Hawker
— Burns Club in Kambah
— Canberra Racing Club in Lyneham
— Federal Golf Club in Red Hill
— Harmonie German Club in Narrabundah
— Irish Club in Weston
— Italo Club in Forrest and
— Murrumbidgee Country Club in Kambah

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When pokies meet developers with help from Labor
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Duffbowl 12:23 pm 19 Sep 12

banco said :

I don’t know if you’ve ever been to the Rugby Union Club in Barton but how they could have any residential development at their site without demolishing the club escapes me.

The same can be said for the Harmonie Club, of which I’m a member. The club is ringed by a car park that is about 5 metres wide on the sides and front, and about 8-10 metres at the back. Unless the club can buy or be granted the land parcels surrounding it, I don’t see how it could develop anything without knocking over the existing building.

ClubsACT, this isn’t particularly targeted at your organisation, that’s a totally different ax that needs grinding. I’m just wary of any solutions that are put forward by a government around election time that seems to be not particularly well thought through. If the clubs do decide to rebuild, the regulars and members will seek somewhere else to go. Once moved, it can be hard to get people back. The main beneficiaries of such a move would be the larger nearby clubs.

How does ClubsACT propose that the smaller clubs be supported during the redevelopment period, if they go down that route?

banco 12:10 pm 19 Sep 12

ClubsACT said :

The entire point of the grants is to enable small, non-group clubs to get some initial work done to explore what opportunities exist on their site for particular types of development (residential, child care, aged persons units, community need etc). This is not about clubs knocking down their premises and replacing it with an apartment block, it’s about utilising the land around the clubs for residential style development.

$15,000 is a very small amount and will pay for very preliminary consulting work.

If this enables those small, independent clubs to create new non-gaming revenue streams then that is a worthy objective.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been to the Rugby Union Club in Barton but how they could have any residential development at their site without demolishing the club escapes me.

I hope the clubs will be paying back the $15,000 if anything comes of the development (after all it’s a “small amount of money”).

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