Officer’s poker machine stand-off

Officer is a small suburb in the Shire of Cardinia, deep in Melbourne’s south-east. Nestled in between Beaconsfield and Pakenham, it’s part of Melbourne’s expanding growth corridor… and bizarrely, that puts it at threat from Victoria’s poker machine industry.

Cardinia Council has signed off on planning permission for a development precinct in Officer that allows for, amongst other things, a poker machine venue. They did so without consulting the residents of Officer or allowing for public feedback, because the precinct is within the town’s “Urban Growth Zone”.

Just for the sake of perspective:

There are already seven poker machine venues within spitting distance of the proposed site of the Officer venue. Five of those venues are within the Shire of Cardinia… so no one can say that the area is lacking in gambling options. The blue star is the proposed Officer venue.

Gaming venues around Officer

Gaming venues around Officer

But it gets worse. Directly across the road from the proposed precinct… is Officer Primary School.

Proximity of the proposed poker machine venue to Officer Primary School

Proximity of the proposed poker machine venue to Officer Primary School

In fact, the proposed venue is surrounded by schools. The whole area is heavily residential. And Cardinia Council is trying to sneak their approvals through without telling anyone.

This is a disgrace; these kinds of tactics have been in play time and time again, in Whittlesea, and Romsey, and Jan Juc… the list goes on. Now it’s Officer’s turn. And unsurprisingly, the Cardinia Council Responsible Gambling Policy has gone missing from their website.

There’s a public meeting in Officer tonight (27/4) at Officer Public Hall to protest this development and plan to contest it. I’ll be there and I intend to see this one through every step of the way.

Officer does NOT need this.

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