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.

New breed of laws

PAWFECT COMPANION: Isaac dog owners like Curtis Teale, pictured with husky Luca, will need to abide by new breeding laws that start today.

New dog breeding laws throughout Queensland will begin today.

Serving up a tasty fundraiser

YARNS APLENTY: Bush poet Murray Hartin will entertain diners at the Springsure State School's Paddock to Plate 2017 dinner.

Springsure State School is serving up a yummy fundraiser.

Let's seal our future prosperity

KNEE DEEP: Matthew and Bernadette Paine's daughter Grace demonstrates how the heavy traffic load causes incredible wear and tear on Springsure-Tambo Rd.

Region outgrows dirt road

Local Partners

Council sells land for unpaid rates

Several properties will go under the hammer as the Central Highlands Regional Council makes a bid to recoup money owed for unpaid rates.

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

What public holidays are left in 2017

Ipswich residents will get the day off tomorrow for the show.

IPSWICH residents will get tomorrow off for the show

Caitlyn comes home to launch debut album

Gympie's Caitlyn Shadbolt will launch here debut album Songs On My Sleeve at an exclusive all-ages concert in Gympie on Friday, May 26.

Win tickets to Caitlyn's album launch

Model Bella Hadid's see-through dress shocks in Cannes

JUST WHEN you thought you’d all of Bella Hadid’s supermodel figure — she gets her Cannes out on the red carpet of an AIDS gala dinner in France.

No room for morbid fans

Chris Cornell.

Fans want to stay in the hotel room where Chris Cornell died

Star Wars' 1977 Stormtrooper head banger confesses

A Stormtrooper is responsible for the biggest blunder in a Star Wars movie. Picture: Supplied

Man in most famous blooper in Star Wars history breaks silence

Lyn's knock-out show gets her to next round on The Voice

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS: Lyn Bowtell is through to the battle rounds on The Voice.

'It was bitter sweet to win like that'

Is this the talent you get when you limit electronics?

Cassidy Kilburn in the Get the Beat International Dance Competition.

Cassidy, 11, preparing for national dance championships

Dreamworld may supersize with 'Disneyland expansion'

Dreamworld could become a “more attractive and entertaining park”.

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Lost dough leaves sour taste after company collapse

Kathleen and John Mahoney from Sugar and Spice Bakery were stung after the collapse of Cantro Pty Ltd and are still owed money.

Supermarket operator collapse leaves sour taste for bakery

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!