In Sydney, the Casula community’s long-running struggle to prevent a large late trading pokie pub being developed on their doorstep has taken another turn. The pub chain has allegedly sought to influence the nearby local public school community’s opposition with favours.
GrogWatch has previously reported on the Casula community’s ‘David and Goliath’ struggle to prevent the problematic pokie pub proposal from eventuating. Casula locals remain particularly concerned that the pub chain also manages the Macarthur Tavern — a venue infamous for being the equal most violent and second most violent liquor outlet in NSW for 2013/14.
What’s remarkable is the disadvantaged community’s tenacious, cohesive advocacy. They want an objective assessment of the impact of a liquor and gambling business just metres from their primary school and adjacent to public housing for the elderly and people with disability.
The local community has rejected Mr De Angelis’s claim in the above SMH report that bottle shops are most responsible for alcohol-related violence. The community understand that while the pub chain may hold a liquor license for the disused restaurant at the site of the proposed pub, the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority has yet to receive an application for the transfer of a pub liquor license to the site. This is also reliant upon prior approval of their amended development application from Liverpool City Council.
Pub proponents are yet to reveal key components of the new proposal, including trading hours, number of patrons and the number of poker machines. They have, however, reported the provision of a ‘courtesy bus’.
We’ve been advised that there’s been no consultation between the pub chain and the Casula community on the chain’s proposed ‘amended’ application (the original was unanimously rejected by the Council’s independent planning assessment body — the council was concerned by the pub’s potential negative social impact).
The community is still battling in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal to have Police information released on the number and type of alcohol-related incidents at some of the hotel chain’s pubs. The pub’s owner is objecting to the release of the data.
GrogWatch is eagerly monitoring Casula’s well-founded objection to the ‘pokie pub’, and hopes the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority supports the right of the local community to protect bthe health and wellbeing of its children and all other residents.