News

Pokie addicts kiss $27m goodbye

There are 171 operational pokies in the Emerald area, 158 in the former Belyando Shire, 151 in pubs and clubs at Blackwater, Bluff and Dingo, and 78 in the former Broadsound Shire.
There are 171 operational pokies in the Emerald area, 158 in the former Belyando Shire, 151 in pubs and clubs at Blackwater, Bluff and Dingo, and 78 in the former Broadsound Shire.

POKIE addiction has plundered $27 million from the wages and savings of Central Highlanders in the past year.

Figures from the Queensland Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation show the floods in the former Emerald Shire had no effect on gaming machine compulsion with $10.35m wagered on the push of a button.

Patrons of pubs and clubs in Clermont and Moranbah fed $8.97m into the buck-gobbling bandits in the period from September, 2010, to August.

Blackwater, Bluff and Dingo pokie users kissed goodbye to $4.76m, while Middlemount and Dysart gamblers farewelled $3.05m.

Poker machine reform crusader Andrew Wilkie, the federal independent member for Denison whose backing helped Julia Gillard form government at the last election, continues to agitate for the introduction of a mandatory 'pre-commitment' smart card technology to set limits on the amount a gambler can spend.

The card has the support of the Queensland Council of Social Services, who have advocated for social justice throughout the state for more than 50 years.

President Karyn Walsh said just-released independent research showed 64% of Queenslanders would support the card as mandatory. "We hear all sorts of circumstances that have arisen from people losing their homes, unable to pay rent or blowing their inheritances, and while there is no data to statistically support these issues, anecdotally we hear about it all the time," she said.

"Parents, siblings, children - their hardship has increased due to excessive gambling." Ms Walsh acknowledged the fly in, fly out and drive in, drive out workforce in the Bowen Basin could be contributing to the problem, taken out of their homes and placed in town camps or environments where gambling was an accessible outlet for any variety of reasons and emotions.

She said the accessibility of poker machines across clubs and pubs had changed the playing field.

"QCOSS has always supported pre-commitment cards because we feel gambling comes in ebbs and flows and there are those who can afford it and those who can't," Ms Walsh said.

The Moranbah Community Workers Club's application for a further 35 pokies is pending.

A responsible gambler:

  • sees gambling as entertainment, not a job
  • doesn't take gambling too seriously
  • only gambles with money set aside for entertainment, never with money for rent or food
  • never borrows money to gamble, either from friends, money set aside for other things or credit cards
  • sets limits on the amount of time and money they will spend
  • sticks to these limits and walks away when they are reached
  • recognises that you can't win in the long run and doesn't try to chase a win
  • is relaxed and sociable, aware of family and friends and is happy to take frequent breaks

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Register for Relay for Life 2017

SIGN UP: Lorna Hicks, Debbie Shields, Julie Sandeman and Ashlee Hansen at the Central Highlands Relay for Life 2016.

Throw your support behind Relay for Life 2017.

Day extra special for new citizens

FLAG DOWN A PARTY: The council will hold events all over the Central Highlands.

Australia Day will be extra special for our newest citizens.

Their stories live on

HISTORY LESSON: Lady Annie Brassey visited Tenterfield in July 1887 while spending much of the last 10 years of her life at sea. Hear her story on Australia Day.

Hear the region's stories of old at the historical afternoon tea.

Local Partners

CFMEU official under fire for corporate spending

Claims official spent "thousands of dollars" on corporate credit card including at Porters, Bunnings, Fresco's Quality Meats, Angelo's on the Marina, Sorbellos

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Noll meltdown won't affect Gympie Oz Day concert

Shannon Noll

Photo Contributed

Shannon Noll is still expected to perform in Gympie next Thursday

Win your love with tickets

SMILES: Staff and children from Outside School Hours Care are fundraising for a new playground at the centre.

DAZZLE your darling with tickets to this year's Valentine's Day Ball

Kristen Stewart to host SNL

Kristen Stewart will host a pre-Super Bowl episode of SNL next month

Louis Tomlinson celebrated his son's first birthday

Louis Tomlinson and Briana Jungwirth celebrate son's first birthday

Kylie Minogue will take husband's name

Kylie Minogue will take her fiancé Joshua Sasse's surname

Nicole reveals her biggest parenting challenges

Actress Nicole Kidman.

Nicole Kidman says her kids are ‘deeply attuned' to her moods.

Suicide Squad director reveals his regrets about the film

Margot Robbie in a scene from the movie Suicide Squad.

DIRECTOR of superhero flick on what he’d change about ‘flawed’ film.

Meet the new Marco on MasterChef Australia: Yotam Ottolenghi

Israeli-born, London-based chef Yotam Ottolenghi will be a guest chef for a week on the 2017 season of MasterChef Australia.

AFTER Marco’s defection to Seven, MasterChef signs a true food hero.

Stockland's $150m pitch: Build it and they will come

Gladstone Marina. The Gladstone Regional Council offers a range of exciting job opportunities. Photo Contributed: Murray Ware.

Here's why we need to see Stockland upgrade start soon.

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!