The Greens Party has vowed to ban poker machines from dozens of sports clubs and venues that are on council-leased land in Brisbane.
The proposed ban would affect venues from small suburban bowls clubs such as the Mount Crosby Bowls Club to as large as the Brisbane Broncos Leagues Club. According to the policy announcement, 26 clubs rely on council leases to run poker machines.
Greens mayoral candidate Jonathan Sriranganathan said he wants to see these clubs focus less on poker machines and more on live music, art and hospitality.
“These city council facilities are provided to community groups for peppercorn rent on the basis that they are supposed to be community spaces that build community connection and poker machines don’t build community connections,” he tells Club Management.
He emphasised, however, the number of clubs that rely on council leases to run poker machines make up only a small minority.
He said the proposal would be for the poker machines to be phased out over time as those club facilities leases are renewed.
To assist the clubs with the shift, the Greens said it would commit $6 million annually to subsidise live music at council-owned venues, and another $5 million for kitchens, staging, and soundproofing.
“To support clubs to develop alternative revenue streams, we’ll directly fund free-entry original live music gigs in 50 non-profit venues across suburban Brisbane, so that people can go to a gig in their own neighbourhood on a Saturday evening or Sunday arvo,” Sriranganathan said.
The push to ban poker machines by the Greens come off the back of additional poker machines being installed at the Stafford Bowls Club and Greenslopes Bowls Club.