Pokies venues can meet childcare demand: lobby group

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The report said the nation’s “reservoir of need” for social services also included aged care and suggested clubs were well-placed to help meet the demand of an ageing population.

Community Clubs Victoria executive director Leon Wiegard welcomed the idea of clubs providing childcare services on their premises, calling it a “win-win” for parents and his members. 

“We say community clubs are community hubs. Parents have a problem with getting suitable places to go with their kids,” he said.

The state peak body for licensed and not-for-profit clubs has been locked in a battle with the Napthine government over plans to increase the tax paid by poker machine venues and will target key seats at the upcoming election.

Mr Wiegard said he did not think it was inappropriate for big poker machine clubs to provide childcare. 

“I don’t see the difference at all between a bowls or golf club with poker machines and one without them,” he said. “They could fill this hole that is clearly there. I think it’s a very good synergy.”

But anti-pokies campaigner Tim Costello from the Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce lashed the submission, branding the idea of childcare at poker machine venues “outrageous” and “wrong”.

He said clubs already received generous tax breaks that allowed them to spend money on their facilities and label them a benefit to the community. 

While income tax breaks are available to sporting clubs, other community clubs such as RSLs can only access more narrow exemptions on money from members.

“Putting childcare and pokies together is simply inappropriate, you wouldn’t have childcare at a brothel or in a tobacconist yet they’re both legal,” Mr Costello said.

“This would be socially devastating, to allow problem gamblers who are mums to drop off their kids and gamble.”

The McKell Institute report said clubs should create “a cradle-to-the-grave” engagement with local communities. It gave the example of the Go Bananas play centre built by St Marys Leagues Club in western Sydney, that offered before and after-school care for $10 a day.

Another key recommendation is for the federal government to create an infrastructure fund that could be accessed by clubs through a grants process to fund the construction of child and aged care services.

A spokesperson for Clubs Australia said it was clear that there is an increasing demand for affordable childcare nationwide.

“Not-for-profit clubs exist to help their communities, and the provision of childcare services is another way in which they could do just that,” the spokesperson said. 

Clubs Australia spearheaded the successful campaign to water down poker machine reforms proposed by the Gillard government in 2011.

Source Article from http://www.theage.com.au/national/pokies-venues-can-meet-childcare-demand-lobby-group-20140913-10gi14.html
Pokies venues can meet childcare demand: lobby group
childcare – Yahoo News Search Results
childcare – Yahoo News Search Results

カテゴリー: Childcare   パーマリンク


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