Did you know that Coorparoo RSL has secured approval to install pokies at the former Greenslopes Bowls Club site?
Coorparoo RSL plans to relocate its operations to the rundown bowls venue after selling its home of 60 years in Coorparoo in 2021.
Coorparoo RSL reportedly considered installing up to 120 machines at Greenslopes, but the club’s CEO Chris Satori said there are no plans to increase beyond the approved 50 machines. He stated that would require an extensive regulatory and community consultation process that the RSL does not intend to undertake.
The RSL expects to spend $3.5 million renovating and refitting the Greenslopes site. Some Coorparoo RSL members expressed disappointment that the club is moving out of the suburb after 60 years. They felt there should have been an in-person vote rather than a postal vote, which allegedly attracted 80 responses in support of the Greenslopes relocation.
Those opposed to the project allege that Greenslopes residents were not properly consulted about the use of the former public bowling greens site and that the venue should be used for community benefit like arts, music and childcare rather than pokies.
A proposal has been floated, seeking to ban pokies at Council-owned venues in the future and transforming those venues into hubs for arts, music and community activities.
“The last thing the community needs is more pokies. Australians lose approximately $25 billion to gambling every year, including $11 billion from pokies in pubs, clubs and venues other than casinos,” said Member for Griffith Max Chandler-Mather.
“Exploitative pokie machines don’t enrich our community spaces, they are expertly designed for addiction and have already destroyed thousands of Australian lives. And when people live close to pokies venues, they are more likely to experience serious financial and mental health consequences,” he said.
However, Cr Fiona Cunningham said most local residents support the RSL’s renovation plans and continuing bowling and live music activities.
Mr Satori said the club undertook an exhaustive search for a new venue before recommending the former Greenslopes Bowls Club. He said the relocation will allow the RSL to continue supporting veterans and local community groups.