Clubs punt on Justine
RICHMOND MP Justine Elliot's support of a trial of poker machine technology to tackle problem gambling has met with a positive response from local clubs, with Twin Towns Services Club seeking to bridge the gap between gambling venues and Mrs Elliot by removing campaign material aimed to put pressure on her to act on their behalf.
Twin Towns director Mike Fraser and manager Rob Smith said they will remove billboards that feature pictures or direct references to Justine Elliot.
Posters were erected as campaigners fought to stop mandatory pre-commitment on the money that people put through poker machines and pushed to put pressure on her to support clubs in their fight against the mandatory pre-commitment.
"Mrs Elliot has been supportive since she viewed our concerns," Mr Fraser said.
A billboard on Kennedy Dr has an image of the MP with the message "Justine, why are you voting to hurt out community?"
The mandatory pre-commitment was put forward by independent MP Andrew Wilkie with federal government backing and Mrs Elliot saying she supported the pre-commitment technology to help stop problem gambling.
She said, however, she had talked to the clubs in her electorate and had taken their concerns to Canberra.
"My priority is standing up for locals and I'm on the record as saying that I support a trial of manda- tory pre-commitment to see if it's effective," Mrs Elliot said. "I welcome the industry's willingness to work with the government on this issue."
The Prime Minister is understood to have backed away from her promise to introduce a mandatory pre-commitment scheme for using poker machines, telling Mr Wilkie she will not support an alternative proposal, backed by the senator Nick Xenophon, for maximum bet limits of $1.
Mrs Elliot is backing a trial of poker machine mandatory pre-commitment technology before it is rolled out in clubs.
The Federal Government is yet to agree to a trial before implementation.
"Mrs Elliot was one of the first to stand up and promote a trial of pre-commitment strategy rather than mandatory moves," Mr Fraser said.