NT Government Wants to Introduce Pokies Into Remote Areas

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TheNorthernTerritorygovernmenthascomeunderfireforsuggestingthatpokieandliquorlicensesshouldbeintroducedintoremoteAboriginalcommunitiesacrossthestate。

TheLabourPartyopposestheidea,claimingthatitissociallyirresponsible。

However,theGilesGovernmentmaintainsthatitisanissueoffreedomofchoice。

TreasurerDaveTollnerarguesthatitisdiscriminatorytokeepAboriginalsawayfromgamblingandalcohol。

HebelievesthatitisarightforNTresidentstohaveaccesstopokiesandpubsthatservealcohol,andthatitshouldnotbedeniedtothoselivinginremoteAboriginalcommunities。

“IsLaborsayingAboriginalpeopleshouldnothavethesamerightsaseverybodyelse?

”MrTollnersaidinanemailthatwasobtainedbytheHeraldSun。

Healsonotesthatthesecommunitiesarelosingbusinessduetothelackofadultentertainmentavailable。

Residentsarechoosingtovisitbiggercitiesinordertoplaypokiesanddrinkalcoholinpubs,whichiscausingremotecommunitiestoshrink。

“Wethinkthatsocialclubsoncommunitiescanreducethenumberofpeopleleavingcommunitiesandatthesametimeallowgreatercommunityresponsibilityofdrinking,”hesays。

Still,itseemslikequiteriskydecision。

PreviousstudieshaverevealedthatgamblingaddictionhasahigherprevalenceamongAboriginalcommunities,andtherearenotenoughresourcesinthesecommunitiestodealwiththeseissues。

LaborLeaderDeliaLawriehassuggestedthatasocialimpactassessmentshouldbeconductedbeforeafinaldecisionismade。

Beforebringingpokiesintovulnerablecommunities,itisimportanttounderstandjusthowindividualsandthecommunityasawholewillbeaffected。