In an unusual turn of events, Ballina Shire councillor Nathan Willis has supported a rescission motion against his own original motion that would have seen the council give the Lennox Sports Club (aka Club Lennox) a rent rebate for reducing the number of its poker machines.
The original motion proposed that Ballina Council, which owns the land on which the sports club stands, introduce a series of price incentives for reducing its reliance on the pokies.
But Cr Willis said that after further consideration, he thought better of the initiative.
So, at Council’s January meeting, he voted to rescind his own original proposal and instead propose that staff investigate how other LGAs around the country are dealing with the problem.
‘My concern has been to ensure that we don’t cause harm to the club but at the same time we address the issue of the social harm around poker machines,’ he told Echonetdaily.
The effect of supporting the rescission motion was to separate out the two issues.
‘The rent of the club will be considered as a separate issue to reducing the social harm caused by poker machines in the Shire.
‘There will be a report sometime this year by staff into what have we done. We will be looking at Darebin Council in Victoria
‘I know they have been working with the alliance for gambling reform. I know they have also been talking to Byron Shire,’ Cr Willis said.
Echonetdaily contacted the club who declined the opportunity respond, saying that at this stage the board has no comment to make on the matter as they are awaiting further information from council.