Brimbank Council will kick-off Victoria’s inaugural ‘Gambling Harm Awareness Week’ with an interactive community forum at St Albans Community Centre on Monday 8 October 2018 (6.30-8.30pm).
The forum will see experts and community leaders hold an open and candid conversation with the public about the shared need to bring a new approach and mindset to tackle the issue.
Hosting the event will be broadcaster, anthropologist, and writer, Sally Warhaft, who said she was excited to see Brimbank leading the way on such an important topic.
“I am eager to be a part of this forward-thinking forum, and I commend Brimbank for its vision and determination to address this issue."
“I believe that by talking honestly about gambling harm, we will eventually achieve not just legislative change, but also cultural change across our society,” Ms Warhaft said.
Brimbank Councillor, Virginia Tachos, who will be opening the forum, stressed the ongoing need to intensify and focus public attention on the confronting reality of the issue.
“Gambling harm continues to have a devastating effect on the wellbeing of our community, and we must address it with sustained, concerted, and purposeful strategies.
“This forum will heighten public awareness of the issue, and add new vigour to our campaign for a systemic reform of the gaming industry,” Cr Tachos said.
With Brimbank recording the highest gambling losses in Victoria for the last 11 years running, Council is running an ambitious, evidence-based campaign, in partnership with the Alliance for Gambling Reform, calling for $1 maximum bets, reduced venue opening hours, and fewer poker machines in the community.
The campaign also advocates for urgent investment in research and strategies to support alternatives to gambling, and is being supported by a record 19 Victorian councils.
“Council is steadfast in its commitment to do more than simply acknowledge the problem. We are proud to advance a balanced, comprehensive platform to bring real reform to the industry.
“Realising these goals requires a collective effort and I invite everyone in our community to get involved by coming along to the forum, and by signing up to our petition online,” Cr Tachos said.
For further event information, visit: brimbank.vic.gov.au/events. For more information about gambling harm and how you can take action, visit: www.pokiesplaybrimbank.org.au.